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Getting away from hay?
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Alberta Cowman
Posted 5/16/2022 08:08 (#9662609 - in reply to #9661260)
Subject: RE: Getting away from hay?

littlejo - 5/15/2022 09:15

Anybody try swath grazing? Tests in Canada, some kept better in swaths than bales off of same field.
Not sure how it would work in wetter country that don't freeze.

We used to swath graze lots.

It works awesome until, you get 3’ of snow or the herds of elk and deer figure it out too. Then they tear down the hot wire and, the cattle end up everywhere. If the mice are bad they can do a fair bit of damage later in the winter.

There can be some issues with mold if you have cool wet weather in the fall after swathing.

I’d be sceptical of it keeping better than a bale though. It works well but is very weather and environment dependent. You definitely do need a backup plan.

I’ve gone to grazing corn and managed this year (depending on turnout date this spring) to have ~300 grazing days for the cows and ~330 days on my yearlings this year. They did get some supplemental feed between paddocks.

I could have had more grazing days as I had fall rye in which would have allowed an earlier turnout. I have decided to terminate it, sell my grasser steers and put in canola instead. I can net over twice the $ per acre, even with the extra feed.
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