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Hay bales per acre Expand / Collapse
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Posted 6/29/2009 5:18:58 AM
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I read you should get about 4 tons of hay per acre...but what i cna't figure out is if they are talking per cutting...or per season..anyone have ideas on this or where i can find this information out...in Virginia

thanks

Post #8546
Posted 7/1/2009 3:47:50 AM


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I missed this question so I apologize.

Here in Maine which I was told by the NRCS has the best pastures in the world (along with Vermont due to soil, topography and annual rainfall) we get between 3-4 tons to the acre for the first crop of hay. Cut it in half for the 2nd crop and far less for the third. But beware of those numbers, it is very difficult to get the right weather when we need it, to get 3 crops of hay in.

A good field here will get around 100 square bales to the acre, depending on the moisture content when baling and the size of the square bales of course. Assuming a square bale weighs 80 pounds, that figures out right...8000 pounds for first cutting or 4 tons to the acre.

Virgina...with a bit more heat to retard the growth...probably averages 3 tons to the acre. (75 bales to the acre on first cutting)

You did not ask for protein content, but here our grass averages around 11% for first crop, 14% for 2nd crop and 19% for 3rd crop. Just beware on protein...everyone talks about it but for sheep, cows and goats, protein is seldom the limiting factor of nutrition in their diet. In fact if they get too much, they simply poo it back out as a very liquid mess. Therefore it is silly to cram high protein down a sheep or goats throat. Incidentally protein also makes the wool more course. For high quality wool, you want to make sure your feed or supliments are higher in sulfur content. But just a dab will do you so consulting a sheep nutritionist is your best move.

(Dairy cows are different because commercial dairy farmers are given huge bonuses for the protein content of the milk).



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Post #8624
Posted 7/1/2009 5:26:09 AM
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Where I grew up in eastern Ontario, the farmers reckoned it was a pretty good field if you got 100 bales/acre.  Not sure about where we live now, but I imagine it's similar.

Weather is always the factor, of course.  We haven't got our hay off yet, because it won't stop raining.  It looks like we have about 4 or 5 rainless days coming up, but I'm concerned we won't be able to get the tractor back to the hayfield!  It's the other side of a creek which is normally dry by now, but it's still running.  Heavy clay + lots of rain = one big sticky mess.

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