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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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. I’m 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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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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Discussion Starter #10
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.

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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I used a silage pea cost me $16/ bushel and they were seeded at a bushel/acre with oats at 65lbs/acre. I think they work good for swath grazing if you can keep the birds out and have a drier fall cause peas mould pretty easy.
 

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we seem to grow a bigger percentage of our forage as green feed every year. the tonnage (and consistency of tonnage) compared to older dryland hay stands is pretty considerable. plus its pretty sweet baling in cropland vs those bouncy old hayfields. can roll up close to 200 bales a day. crimping through the haybine sure helps with drydown and bale density, but do lose a few leaves and grain kernels.


have been doing some winter wheat (we spring graze to take some pressure off the pasture and then cut the regrowth) and then do some HRSW. the best tonnage wise is always the 40 or 50 ac where we do a mix to use up all the treated seed from the spring and will have durum / HRSW / peas / lentils. peas probably have the longest dry down.


I like HRSW for a couple reasons - I have an awnless variety (less lump jaw), I am not having to clean a drill out and do another crop switch, and if you cut at the milk stage the whole plant is very palatable compared to a rye or triticale. probably the best disease resistance too. wouldn't think that an issue in green feed but a few years back had a lot less toxin that other options. but giving up on some tonnage. We use a bale shredder and cutting green like we do the cows clean it up really well with low wastage. TDN has been 60-63 over last few years.


always a good idea to feed test green feed bales for a couple reasons - nitrates and mycotoxins, but also for calcium levels. annual forage can be quite a bit lower than grass / alfalfa, sometimes end up having to feed some hay in later gestation to keep calcium in line vs all green feed.
 

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A lot of green feed seeded in this area in recent years as an alternative to corn. Not in the same league as corn but a lot cheaper to grow. Barley and peas mixed would be my choice of green feed. Gives a softer more palatable feed with added protein. Like the idea of using up all the leftover seed from other crops seeded that year. Around this area pretty much all would be baled and wrapped. If the crop is going to take over ten days to dry down,too much feed value can be lost if it gets rained on. Cut leave a couple of days then flip over with a rake then bale the next day seems to be the way. Added expense for the wrap and wrapper but cheaper than poor quality forage.
 

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Even with green feed? do you notice any more grain loss beating it up a couple extra times with a tedder and then rake.
We didn’t let the heads form beyond early milk so almost no losses. Most of the green feed I wrapped as silage bales. Cut one day bale 2 days later or so. 2300 pound bales 50 percent moisture. If you tedder it or rake it to dry bale it pretty much loses its colour.
 

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We have brand new Pottinger tedders here in stock if anyone is interested 6 basket 6.80t for 19,000 and the 10 basket 10.11t with hyd fenceline adjusrment for 36,000 . Pottinger makes 4 to 12 basket tedders . We are Located in sk
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm going to try some greenfeed this year the way things are working out.

Barley/peas/Millet or
Oats/peas or
Triticale/peas

Is there any benefit to adding millet in with any of those combos? What yields better between the oats, barley or triticale? What's more palatable for the moo moos?
 
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