Welcome to the a better way to farm podcast where we share a serious secrets about profitable farming. We appreciate you taking the time to join us and we hope that you’ll love the knowledge be shared not only with you today but also in future episodes. So let’s get right into it.
We’re sitting here waiting on the next storm to roll through were predicted to get two to three inches of rain tonight. That will go very well with the other nine inches we’ve already received this month. So we’re a little wet. We’re going to talk about putting up hay today. It’s been a challenging spring. There’s no question about that. And the 10 day forecast for us here in southern Iowa does not look promising. Hay is in short supply. The question becomes what are we going to do if this is going to continue to be such a challenging year and the windows are going to be short, what can we do to give ourselves the best chance to get our hay up without getting rained on?
Our system works well for that. Guys, I’m going to share with you what we do on our farm. This isn’t some bright idea that we think is theory. This is what we do is what we’re going to do is what we have done. This is not an acid, it is not corrosive and when you use this product, the animals eating the hay actually prefer are treated hey to non treated are treated. So when we’re spraying, we also put a quart of a drying agent in there that we’ll talk about when you call or even this early in the year, the first part of June here if we get to roll and we’ll use two quarts of the drying agent.
What does that do for us? Well the drying agent knocks a wax off the stem and helps that hey to cure out faster. It lets some moisture escape and it lets it be quicker to dry. The second thing it does is that our target is to bale hay somewhere between 18% and 22% so we’re intentionally Bale wetter for a lot of reasons. If we let the Hay get all the way to 12% we lose a lot of leaf. And when we lose leave, we lose protein, we lose feed value and we lose tonnage. We lose a lot of pounds. And so even in grass hay, we much prefer to bail at that 18 to 22% range in Alfalfa.
We can treat the first time for about $1.10 cents a ton and if I have to treat the second time, it’s about another buck a ton so I can double treat for $2 and 10 cents a ton. That’s pretty inexpensive insurance. I’m willing to spend that as an insurance policy. One of the big advantages of using this is is the fact that we can bale one day quicker than the neighbors.
We now know, after 12+ years that if we all mow on Monday our hay will be done at least one day quicker than everyone else, because if it’s dry enough for them to bale Wednesday we are done on Tuesday. So the bottom line is what’s that one day worth? And right now the way this weather is so unstable that one day may be the difference between success and failure. Winter is going to come again probably way quicker than I want it to and I’m going to need about 700-800 bales to feed cows and I’m going to guess that if you’re reading this then you’re interested in hay production & in the same boat we are.
There really is a better way to put up Hay and I want to encourage you to take a look at what it can do for you.