Greenfeed vs alfalfa grass mix - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Greenfeed vs alfalfa grass mix

I've been doing some thinking about trying some greenfeed. Was thinking of a barely/peas mix, but would love to throw something else in there as well if I could just not sure what.

What are the benefits of green feed over a traditional grass hay? I usually do a 70/20/10 mix of alfalfa brome and Timothy I believe it is. Was wondering if I could get more feed per acre from a green feed instead?

My logic behind trying it was that it gives me a extra crop rotation, provide more feed of same acres(hopefully), and save me some fuel and tractor hours as I'd only be haying once a year rather than twice. Would be changing fields every year instead of having one field on hay for 4 years.

I can see it being a little trickier to get up in a way cause I know it takes some time to dry down. Would be cutting it with a 15' discbine.

Pros or cons to this idea? What's the best timing to get it to dry down the fastest? What's a good combo of forages to use that will winter kill after they're harvested for the year? Thinking I could maybe direct seed into it the following year, or maybe even that same fall with a fall crop.

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 05:18 PM
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I canít answer your questions, but for the dry down for harvest, some guys here have pre harvested with roundup, than swath and bake directly behind. Seems to work well.


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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 05:58 PM
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I run the same hay mixture and only do barley greenfeed. My dad would run oats, but as far as I am concerned oats is for chickens although I prefer it for a cover crop. I always had considerably more waste with oats too, processor or not. I run a 16' haybine with steel on rubber crimpers and it takes about 10 days of good weather to dry down. I knock it down at just into milk stage. Another thing to consider is swath grazing. It is surprising how well they will clean up. Typically I get twice the bales of green feed over hay. I will try to dig up the feed analysis from the hay and barley. You really got me thinking about adding peas into the mix, that makes me hungry. I would think that would add some drying days though.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 08:39 PM
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I’ve done the pea/oat thing a few times makes really nice feed but takes forever to dry down I think last summer was 16 days. We seed it first (early May) cut around the 3rd week in July to take advantage of hot nice days. Bales are heavy a dry 5 x 6 bale is 1800lbs. It was quite dry here last year and we got 2.5 bales per acre way better then any hay we had.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Ya I think the peas add some drying time, but supposed to improve the protein quite a bit I think. Barely is supposed to be more palatable for them, from what I've been reading. Makes sense that they waste more with oats if they dont like it as much.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 08:49 PM
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What are thoughts on prehatvest to help dry down, and not risk it laying in a swath for 2 weeks?

Brent.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 09:01 PM
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I realize that every area is unique, but drying greenfeed here is a virtual impossibility. Then, it sells for a fraction of what hay sells for, and cows waste more of it. That said, there have been a few years where the spring was really hot and dry, then it rained generously later in June and July, and greenfeed/silage would out yield hay considerably.

Is silaging an option?

Triticale is good, adds some tonnes, and regrows.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by LittleMountain View Post
Ya I think the peas add some drying time, but supposed to improve the protein quite a bit I think. Barely is supposed to be more palatable for them, from what I've been reading. Makes sense that they waste more with oats if they dont like it as much.
I mixed ours with corn silage in the mixer wagon and there was no waste. I was impressed how well they ate it. Protein was around 13. Iím not a fan of spraying it down I like the regrowth for fall grazing 70 heifers grazed on the regrowth for 3 weeks.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 09:15 PM
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How would pea/ barley mix work for swath grazing? Besides spraying them, I know nothing about them. What does peas add to $/ac input?

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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What are thoughts on prehatvest to help dry down, and not risk it laying in a swath for 2 weeks?
Would probably help, I'm trying to save as many passes as I can. Trying to use less chemical, hoping to improve soil health and make it easier on the checkbook.

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I realize that every area is unique, but drying greenfeed here is a virtual impossibility. Then, it sells for a fraction of what hay sells for, and cows waste more of it. That said, there have been a few years where the spring was really hot and dry, then it rained generously later in June and July, and greenfeed/silage would out yield hay considerably.

Is silaging an option?

Triticale is good, adds some tonnes, and regrows.
I could try silage, but I'd need to get it custom done. Doesnt really fit with my program either. Man power is a issue as well for it if I were to buy equipment. Not my cup of tea I guess.

If I do some it will all be for personal use anyways so not worried about the sale value of it. Figure if I can get it timed for the middle of July usually we have a couple weeks of hot dry around there. Get it done before harvest gets in full swing. Maybe I'm in dream land again as well.

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