Sudangrass and Pearl Grazing and Hay

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LocustDaleCattleCompany

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Very cool! Have you done this before? If so, do you know how much they gain on it and how long you can graze it?
I did this last year with a group of calves and had another group on a fescue mix with supplement protein for comparison. The annual group did a touch over 1.5 lbs per day but I didn’t have them on it for long enough and the stocking rate was too high IMHO. Once they have grazed this for at least 60 days (weather and forage permitting) I’m going to reweigh both groups again for cost of gain comparison.
 

Dirt Farmer

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I haven’t planted Pearl Millet before but plan to throw it in the mix next year. How do you like it and how is it different from haygrazer?
 
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Pearl doesn’t have such a high maturity height which might sound dumb but these weaned calves figure out how to graze Pearl millet faster than a taller variety like the Sudan grass we are using. They seem to waste more of the Pearl millet would be my only complaint with Pearl. It bounces back very well. Calves are enjoying both1064EE4B-A472-4B02-A323-6F69C55B722E.jpeg

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What about Toxicity of the Sudangrass? I've wanted to plant some in late July early Aug but have been scared of by the toxicity issue. Do you test it or is there a good time and wrong time to graze or cut for hay?
 
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What about Toxicity of the Sudangrass? I've wanted to plant some in late July early Aug but have been scared of by the toxicity issue. Do you test it or is there a good time and wrong time to graze or cut for hay?
Planting that late could be a problem with frost in certain areas of the country. They say it should be at least 18” tall to graze and leave 6-8” of stubble for regrowing. Frost and drought are the two concerns with Sudangrass but we plant ours earlier in the summer to get multiple Grazing before having to worry about frost in the Fall.
 
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What size bales, what do you think they weigh? If somebody close to me starts to offer some baleage for sale I'd be interested in buying some, I know my larger tractor could handle them just wondering about the smaller 45 hp model.
These were 52-54” bales, they were heavy. Around 50% moisture I’d make with an educated guess. They are HEAVY. Our smaller JD 5115M can lift two bales on the front as long as you have a bale on the rear and you take it slow. They are probably more than double the weight of a dry bale. Our 60” dry bales average 750-775lbs so I’d wager these are around 1500lbs (guess but I’ve weighed some of them in the past). The Sudan grass is heavier than our wet mixed grass bales.
 
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So after about 65 days of grazing (wanted to go 90 but things come up) I pulled the 72 annual group calves and 53 fescue calves and ran them through the working facility. First impression of the two groups was the annual group was noticeably slicker and cleaner. Fescue calves definitely had more matted mud on their rear ends and were not as slick. My hypothesis was they were lying around more than annual group. Also the fly load on the fescue calves was considerably more.

Annual Calves 1.47lbs per day
Fescue Calves .85lbs per day with a little extra feed but not much. I still need to do total cost per gain but again was interesting to see.
 

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Just curious. How much of the "extra" gain from the annual calves do you get to keep? fescue vs. sudan. Both have extra expenses. Fertilizer and a little feed for the fescue group Then for the sudan group you have equipment needs, labor and fuel costs to prep and plant. Fertilizer.

I'm assuming your total cost per gain comparison will take these differences into account?
 
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