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Tons of Grass Hay per Acre
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JD4920
Posted 7/23/2010 23:00 (#1285672)
Subject: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre


How many tons of Grass hay or small Square bales do you average per acre , per year , I know rain fall is a big factor but just a rough estimate

Edited by JD4920 7/23/2010 23:01
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twraska
Posted 7/24/2010 00:21 (#1285792 - in reply to #1285672)
Subject: RE: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre


Wallis, TX
We figure 8 5X6 rolls per ace per year, however, fertilizer and rain can make a big difference. I baled for a customer who would regularly bale 3 cuttings of 80-100 small squares plus the first cutting of 3 rolls every year but he fertilized for it. He rented his place out because he couldn't make any money on it, too much $$ in fertilizer.
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GFive
Posted 7/24/2010 00:27 (#1285799 - in reply to #1285672)
Subject: Re: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre



East edge of The Palouse (where the timber starts)
Like everything... it depends. This year we hand lots of rain, we got our fertilizer on at the right time and had nice weather for growing grass. Our yields were: Timothy hay: 4.8 tons to the acre, Orchard/brome/timothy mixture: 3.25 tons to the acre. Alfalfa/brome mix: 2.75 tons to the acre. We only get one cutting a year. A normal yearly average for us farm wide is right around3 tons an acre on one cutting only.

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Hay Wilson in TX
Posted 7/24/2010 07:28 (#1285886 - in reply to #1285672)
Subject: RE: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre



Little River, TX
In small square bales about 8 tons/A is about the highest practical production. Any more than that you will want to put up round bales of large square bales with those higher capacity machines.
A rule of thumb is 50 lbs Nitrogen/ton of hay. Actual is about 40 lbs/ton for 12% protein hay.

With no fertilizer maybe 2.5 tons/A of 7% protein hay is about it. With today's cost of land, fertilizer is more cost effective than more land. That is if you wish to increase total yield. To a point anyway.

You may find 5 tons/A of hay is a comfortable yield for small square bales and for the input.
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IH77
Posted 7/24/2010 07:30 (#1285887 - in reply to #1285799)
Subject: Re: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre



60 - 70 60lbs bales (wire) of bermuda is what I avg per cutting. These are irrigated fields when it's needed. 28 - 30 day cutting cycle. 28 gallons of 32% N and 90 units of K per cutting. Appliy what P is needed usally in the first two cuttings.
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dirtpour2
Posted 7/24/2010 08:38 (#1285938 - in reply to #1285887)
Subject: Re: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre


eastern Kansas
Here with native grass hay average between 1 and 1 1/2 tons to the acre. Sometimes a little more and that is with no fertilizer.
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nmiller
Posted 7/24/2010 08:55 (#1285957 - in reply to #1285792)
Subject: RE: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre



I agree with the financials of your neighbor. My latest hobby is burning down our commercial hay fields. It sure is easier watching crops grow all summer than chasing idiot cubes around and competing with the guy that bales weeds for fun...
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bb940p
Posted 7/24/2010 09:33 (#1285991 - in reply to #1285672)
Subject: RE: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre


sewi
I agree with wilson, 5 ton is pretty average here. This year with the constant conga lines of thunderstorms, we'll be well over 7 tons.
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Hayinhere
Posted 7/24/2010 11:08 (#1286098 - in reply to #1285957)
Subject: RE: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre


Central NE

What is your location, Nick?

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tonesaguy
Posted 7/24/2010 11:59 (#1286161 - in reply to #1285991)
Subject: Re: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre



Chilliwack, British Columbia
Here in the Banana Belt of Canada, I figure about 6T of DM/acre/year. We apply 2500 CDN gallons of liquid dairy manure after every cut, and some N fertilizer. The feed gets put up as either silage, baleage, or idiot cubes. Works for us.

Glenn
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Scott (OSU)
Posted 7/24/2010 12:22 (#1286179 - in reply to #1285672)
Subject: RE: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre



Orrville, OH & Delaware, Ohio
Its best to use 5-6 tons to figure and be safe.  Last year we got 8 tons on our grass and this year we will be close again, but I've also had years where we only got 2 to 3.  Those would be the dry years.  We big square everything.
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rank
Posted 7/24/2010 19:05 (#1286615 - in reply to #1285672)
Subject: RE: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre


SEON
~1700 lbs/acre 1st cut. If we get rain there will be a 2nd cut ~850 lbs/acre. No rain = no 2nd cut. This is ~30% alfalfa on ground that has been hayed for decades and hasn't seen fertilizer in decades either.
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AGFARMER
Posted 7/25/2010 00:32 (#1287055 - in reply to #1285672)
Subject: RE: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre


Courtland Alabama (North Alabama) War Eagle.

I just finished with our 1st cutting which we got 1.8 tons per ac put up in small square bales. Last year we got 3 cutting, If that is the case this year then I should be able to get 5.4 tpa. This is coastal bermuda hay in North Alabama. Dont know bout the protein.

 

Rick M

www.morrisfamilyalabamahorsehay.com

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Hay Wilson in TX
Posted 7/25/2010 07:43 (#1287135 - in reply to #1287055)
Subject: RE: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre



Little River, TX
This being the second or third week of July-
This is coastal bermuda hay in North Alabama. Don't know bout the protein.

I would guess your hay is in the 7% CP range.
I am about the same latitude as Montgomery, and here if I can cut the first week of June & again the third week of July the hay will be in the 10-12% CP range.
If you are on a sandy soil that may be overly optimistic. Here I am on Blackland clay and applied nitrogen here will persist for years. My friends with the East Texas sandy soil, their nitrogen plays out in three to six weeks.

Protein is computed by multiplying the percentage of nitrogen by 6.25.
N% X 6.25 = CP

Somewhere in the Georgia Web site is a bullition that has a chart. This chart gives a good estimate of CP and Energy based on time between harvest.

What I do is pull a hay sample from each field for each cutting and have a plant analysis run on it. ( A full feed and mineral analysis cost considerably more) My customers, at the most, are interested in CP while I am interested in the minerals to monitor the fertility.

If all goes as planned I expect to attend the next Alabama Forage Meeting, Dec 2011 at the West Alabama University.
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Hay Wilson in TX
Posted 7/25/2010 14:31 (#1287684 - in reply to #1287055)
Subject: RE: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre



Little River, TX
 
Ricky Morris aka AGFARMER has an attractive operation.  Check his web site.
Tim's comment
"He rented his place out because he couldn't make any money on it, too much $$ in fertilizer."
is interesting. 
Especially when compared to the Eastern Kansas observation
"Here with native grass hay average between 1 and 1 1/2 tons to the acre. Sometimes a little more and that is with no fertilizer."
To my thinking the range grass hay can only pencil in IF the land cost is not considered a factor. With a light yield the cost to mow is the same as for a heavy yield. The cost to rake is slightly higher than the heavy yield. The cost per bale for the actual baling is the same if the windrows are built large enough or if the baler is pulled fast enough to get the same bales per hour on both the light and heavy yielding ground.
There is a rule of thumb that it requires 50 lbs N/ton of hay, and usually they are talking about 4 weeks between cutting.
This is true only if you are getting >15.5% CP hay. If the hay is 10% CP has 32 lbs N/Ton hay. In that case 32 lbs went to the hay and 18 lbs went out below the bottom of the root zone. (IF you are on sandy ground ! )
HERE if we put up 10% CP hay on a 28 day cycle, we are beating all the leaves off the grass. This not only reduces the feed value but cuts the yield almost in half ! 
In round numbers Mother Nature supplies roughly 50 lbs/A of nitrogen.
What this is saying is hay with 7% CP will use 22 lbs N/Ton for an annual yield of 2¼ maybe 2½ T/A. With some kind of legume growing with the grass will increase the overall tonnage. The quantity of the other elements removed will be in a rough proportional to the nitrogen used.
HERE we have our share of growers who put up good looking grass straw, with low feed value. To compliment this we have a good share of hay buyers who have not a clue what good nutritious hay looks like, let alone it's true worth.
I agree if the local market will not pay what quality hay is worth, we need to raise something else, and bale the bar ditches. HERE locally hay can clear more per acre than corn or cotton.
Hay buyers never change. in 1955 people would pay $0.50/bale of corn shucks, but would not pay $0.75/bale of alfalfa hay. Then to get the animals to eat the corn shucks they had to pour molasses over the hay plus give them cotton seed meal so they could digest all that fiber. We figured their ending cost per bale of feed was just over $1.00/bale for the same feed value the 75¢ alfalfa bale of hay.
Referring to the years with less than average hay, Those would be the dry years. Here with little of no fertilizer we harvest a ton of hay for every 11 or so inches of rain. Our friends at TX A&M have demonstrated it is possible to produce a ton of hay on close to 4" of useable rain. It is my opinion they would have done even better if they had supplied P & K at close to the level of nitrogen applied.
Here our annual forage yield is not proportional to the above average rainfall we may receive. Around our TX A&M U they receive a little more average annual rain than they do around Portland or Seattle. The difference is up there it rains a nice half inch of rain over a three day period. AT TAMU a half inch of rain may fall in less than 15 minutes. Texas is a perpetual drought broken by periodic flooding.
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AGFARMER
Posted 7/25/2010 21:42 (#1288176 - in reply to #1285672)
Subject: RE: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre


Courtland Alabama (North Alabama) War Eagle.

Thanks Bill for the kind words about my web site and the info you sent. I must admit I had a lot of help from NAT on the web site mostly 95h he took an amazing amount of time in looking over what I had on the web site and made some great observations.

I printed your chart off and I'm gonna study it tonight, I'm think I will have some questions on understanding it for you if you dont mind.

I dont know if you looked at the event calendar or not but that has all the info on managing the fields except for maybe the amount of acres in each field, and the acreage vary between 5 and 8 acres each cutting. I put when I cut each field, what I sparyed it with, the amount of fertilizer, the cost of spraying and the fertilizer, and the amount of bales I got off each part of the field.

Again thanks it certainly enjoyable to communicate with another hay farmer

Ricky Morris       www.morrisfamilyalabamahorsehay.com

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RCF
Posted 7/26/2010 09:03 (#1288657 - in reply to #1285672)
Subject: Re: Tons of Grass Hay per Acre



Sulphur Springs, TX
We grow Tifton 44, Tifton 85, and Coastal Bermuda grass all with no irrigation, fertilize, and dig sprigs off most of it from year to year which sets our yield back but we average somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 tons to the acre.

edited-for spelling

Edited by RCF 7/26/2010 09:04
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