Sudan without a conditioner

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ClinchValley

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Anyone successfully made dry hay out of Sudan without a conditioner?

We have a tedder. Would be cutting with a disc mower.

Thought the only way it might work is to seed at double the rate, and cut at 30 to 36 inches.

Last question...would regrowth be acceptable with a cutting height of 4 inches?
 

Texasmark

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A tedder at PTO rpms can work wonders. If you don't agree, take a crop, ted it fast, stop and examine the stems. I probably have the cheapest tedder on the market (Morra 2 drum) and I can tear the heck out of a stem.

If you have a crimper surely it's better as you squash/smash/crimp the entire stalk as it goes through the rollers. I have an old IH 404 drag type that I use for crimping when I feel the need as I mow with a drum without a conditioner which produces a slight ww and makes it easy for the crimper to follow if I am to crimp.

Small SS stems is 50#/acre on a 7" spaced drill. That puts the plants about ¾" apart and does a nice job on the stems. On cutting height, the taller the plant the harder to manage in thick forage but if you have regular SS you need to get some height to get some volume to be economical. Nutrients are fine (per TAMU Ex. Svcs.) as long as you cut at-in the boot where the plant changes from the growth mode to the production (seed-maturity) mode. This also helps with regrowth as the plant doesn't have to shift back to the growth from maturity when you cut it.

Boot is where the stem starts swelling at the tip forming the seadhead....easy to spot. If I wait that long, when I see a few forming I cut as they will not all develop simultaneously due to germination variation times.

4" is a super stubble length.

I'm not your resident expert, just a guy trying to make good hay. I'll tell you this, if you can wait till the summer to do your baling your chances of getting a good bale surely are improved without a crimper. In spring baling, like I just baled my winter crop tough to get it dry....Jumbo Rye and Austrian winter peas....peas did fine. Rye stems looked/felt dry but weren't.....they were too small to crimp and the tedder is all I had for them.
 

ddd75

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i have done it with good results.

i try to get it cut around 30", i made 4 or 5 cuttings off it.
 

SDM

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A co-worker of mine went an extension type meeting a few years ago and heard a speaker from Oregon I believe. The guy had sold his conditioner(s) and was using only disc mowers. His theory was that the plant will lose more moisture through transpiration after cutting, and by crushing the stems this is interrupted. I don't know if there's anything to it. I did a quick search and didn't find anything.
 
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ClinchValley

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Very informative y'all. Thanks.

Texasmark - We also have a pretty cheap looking tedder. But it does work well. What you said makes good sense to me, in theory at least. PTO rpms = beat the piss out of it?

Our hay got wiped out this winter/spring. I was thinking this could potentially be a good way to get a little extra put in the barn.
 

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