How do you turn grass into hay?

A perfect day for making hay is when it’s sunny and calm. Spread the grass clippings in a thin layer on the ground, preferably on the concrete. Turn it and mix it around a few times during the day. It shouldn’t take more than half a day or so until it’s completely dry.

How long does it take to grow hay?

Second Cutting: Depending upon the temperatures of the days and nights, it typically takes 40-45 days for regrowth of alfalfa, mix hay, and orchard-grass , and 55- 60 days for regrowth of timothy.

Does hay grow in the wild?

Hay – grasses and legumes that can be dried for stock feed – is simple to grow either as part of a crop rotation or a permanent meadow, and grows naturally in many areas.

Where does the hay come from?

hay, in agriculture, dried grasses and other foliage used as animal feed. Usually the material is cut in the field while still green and then either dried in the field or mechanically dried by forced hot air. Typical hay crops are timothy, alfalfa, and clover.

Is hay just dried grass?

Hay is a grass or can be a form of grass. When referring to it as a form of grass, it is a cut grass that has been cut then dried for the purpose of becoming an animal feed or food. If it’s still not to be used as food, then it can readily be stored some place else.

Can I make my own hay?

You don’t need a tractor and big farm equipment to make hay, it’s extremely easy to do on your own. All you need is access to grass and somewhere to dry and store it. If you have poultry I’m going to assume you have a backyard of sorts, but you can even dry hay inside your own house you are so inclined.

How do farmers make hay?

Hay Today. Today, the process for growing hay still involves letting the plants grow to maturity, then cutting it, letting it dry in the sun, raking it, and gathering it up in some form, whether that be round or square bales, or as loose hay.

How many times a year can you harvest hay?

In most areas of the country, grass hay can be cut twice, sometimes three times, per year. The first cutting generally has the largest yield.

Is hay profitable to grow?

He says it costs about $297 per acre to seed and prepare hay ground. “You are going to get more than three years out of that, but if we use three years, that’s about $100 per acre per year,” Brown says. “If you are getting $125 per ton for quality hay, you are going to see a profit of $51 per ton, or $204 per acre.

What animal lives in hay?

Hay is grass, legumes, or other herbaceous plants that have been cut and dried to be stored for use as animal fodder, either for large grazing animals raised as livestock, such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep, or for smaller domesticated animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

Why do farmers leave hay bales in the field?

Of course, the most obvious reason why farmers leave bales of hay out for a bit (though no more than a few days) is to let the bales dry. Stacking wet hay poses the risk of it becoming moldy or catching on fire.

Is hay a wheat?

Wheat can make excellent hay. Cut in the boot to very early head emergence growth stage, it can have a high nutrient content. Yield may be increased by waiting until early milk stage of the grain, but it will be lower in quality. I recommend forage testing as a quick, easy way to assess quality.

What is hay crop?

Hay is grass which has been cut and dried so that it can be used to feed animals.

What can be made of hay?

Straw can be used as bedding for animals, a material for making baskets or hats, and it can even be used a fuel source for bioenergy. Straw can also be used as a mulch, insulation in a house, and of course, fall decoration. Actual hay is something an animal can eat.

Is hay a grain crop?

Hay is a crop that is grown and harvested as a feed crop for cattle, horses and other farm animals. Straw on the other hand is a byproduct of a grain crop; in our area it’s usually usually wheat straw that we see. Why would that make a difference to us in the garden? The problem lies with hay.

Does hay turn into straw?

When the plants are left intact and bundled up, it’s hay. But when the seed heads are removed, the plant stalk that’s left behind is straw, a hollow tube that has many uses, including animal bedding on farms and mulch in gardens.

Is hay different than grass?

Hay is basically a grass that is cut green, then dried and baled. When oat seeds are planted, they first grow as a grass. When it looks like grass, it can be cut and baled as hay.

Is hay and alfalfa the same thing?

One of the biggest differences between alfalfa hay and grass hay is the protein content. On average, alfalfa hay has much higher levels of protein, ranging from 15% to 21% depending on when the alfalfa was cut. This is much higher than the protein levels of grass hay, which typically contains 10% or less protein.

Is hay ruined if rained on?

Rained-on hay often has relatively high protein values compared to fiber content unless there’s great leaf loss. Leaves contain a lot of the plant’s protein. As soluble carbohydrates leach, structural fibers make up a greater percent of forage dry matter. The digestibility of rained-on hay can decline 6 to 40 percent.

Is it cheaper to buy hay or make it?

In most environments where forage production is based on natural rainfall, you can almost always buy hay cheaper than you can produce it.

What type of grass is used for hay?

Grass Hay. Grass hay also comes from a variety of sources including timothy, brome, orchardgrass, tall fescue, and bermudagrass. It contains lower levels of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals than legume hay. However, grass hay is very high in fiber.

Why is hay produced?

The definitive aim of haymaking is to produce a palatable product that retains the nutrient quality of the original crop. Grasses and legumes are cut, dried and baled into hay. The intention is to reduce the moisture content to a level low enough to inhibit the action of plant and microbial enzymes.

How is hay made into bales?

Farmers cut hay in the field and let it dry for several days in the sun. Then they raked the dried hay into rows and ran baling equipment over the rows. This produced the bales. Storage is key to keeping this crop ready to be fed to animals in the winter.

How is straw made?

Straw is an agricultural byproduct consisting of the dry stalks of cereal plants after the grain and chaff have been removed. It makes up about half of the yield of cereal crops such as barley, oats, rice, rye and wheat.

Do you have to cut hay?

Young livestock need high nutrient concentrations so cut that hay before or just when heads begin to emerge. If the hay will go to mature, dry cows instead, let the grass produce a bit more growth and cut it after it is well headed out, but before seeds develop.

What month do you cut hay?

Optimum conditions for first cuttings can generally be expected around May 15th in the south and May 25th in the north. Though different cuttings provide different levels of nutrition (a topic for a future blog), the most important determination of hay quality is its state of maturity when cut.

Does hay dry at night?

Without sunlight, hay won’t dry very fast. But once we have some sun, it doesn’t really matter if it is partially cloudy or a bright blue sky. The reason has to do with all those stomates from the first paragraph. In a growing plant, stomates are open in the day and closed at night.

How much is a hay bale worth?

What Is the Average Price for a Bale of Hay? On average, a bale of hay costs around $15. For example, two wired Alfalfa Hay bales typically run high, costing $19.95 apiece, whereas bermudagrass is only $8.75. Timothy Hay is the most expensive, typically costing at least $20 a bale.

What is the most profitable crop per acre?

Bamboo is one of the most profitable crops to grow per acre. It can bring in lots of revenue, but the catch is it takes about three (3) years for the bamboo to get “established” once planted.

What kind of farm makes the most money?

Though soybeans are the most profitable crop for large farms, fruit trees and berries generate the most profit of all farm sizes. As farm size increases, labor costs to tend and harvest fruit trees and berries become too high to maintain profits.

What animals live in hay fields?

Hayfields can provide many kinds of wildlife with food and cover. Meadowlarks, bobolinks, and pheasants are examples of open-ground nesters that use hay- fields. Waterfowl, rabbits, deer, and wild turkeys nest in grassland located next to woods, wetlands or brushlands.

What wildlife eats hay?

Deer, elk, antelope, gophers, mice, and rabbits eat the alfalfa. In turn, hawks, eagles, migratory birds, and other predatory mammals such as coyotes and cougars hunt for birds and rodents that inhabit alfalfa fields. Ultimately, scavengers such as coyotes and vultures eat the dead animals and complete the food chain.

Why is hay rolled up?

Why do they do that? Farmers often bale hay in large round bales instead of small square bales because they require less labor to bale and move than small square bales. The shape of round bales enables them to be stored outside, something you would never do with square bales.

Is hay a good cash crop?

Over the last few years many hay acres have been planted to cash grain crops. Combining fewer acres in hay production with decreased forage yields, the supply of hay is low. Consequently, hay prices are strong and in demand.

What is a big roll of hay called?

Other factors, however, such as farm size, equipment, weather and budget will determine how the hay will be collected and stored. The two most common options are large round bales, also called rolls, and small square bales.

Does hay have to cure?

Any hay that has been properly cured and dried before being baled should be stable and can be fed as soon as needed. There are no nutritional advantages to storing hay for weeks or months prior to use.

Will cows eat wheat hay?

Wheat hay, if harvested right, can fit the bill as a palatable beef cattle feed, just like it does for stockers and other cattle in winter grazing programs.

What is oat hay?

Oat hay is a grass hay, and its energy/calorie and protein levels are similar to timothy, which averages at around 9% protein. Alfalfa’s protein content is closer to 17%. The vitamin A level in oat hay is higher than other grass hays.

What is wheat hay worth?

Current hay markets are posting average large round straw bale values of $58 per bale with large square bales pegging $64 each. Small wheat straw bales are also selling strong.

Can we eat hay?

Hay is edible for humans. It just is not as digestible for humans as it is for other animals like cattle. Some upscale restaurants serve food with hay in it. It can be used as a flavoring component in food or as a presentation component or garnish.

What is hay made from in Australia?

In Australia, the common types of hay produced are: Oaten hay. Wheaten hay. Vetch hay.

Is hay a good fertilizer?

Hay as fertilizer provides a full nutrient package rather than just NPK,” Gerrish said. Gerrish noted that in much of the U.S., hay can be bought at a lower price than most farmers would pay to produce and harvest it on their land. This includes the value of all the nitrogen (N) and minerals contained in that hay.

What color is hay?

Good quality hay should be bright green in color with little fading. A bleached, yellow, brown or black color may indicate aged hay, mold or poor storage conditions. Storage condition and age have a significant effect on vitamin content of hays.

Is hay a wheat or grass?

Hay is often a tall field grass, usually a variety called Timothy. When it is mature, the grass is cut a ground level and the whole plant; stalks, leaf blades and seed heads, are left where they fall to dry in the summer sun.

Is hay good for gardens?

Aside from well-aged compost, hay is arguably the best mulch for a vegetable garden. Like straw, it’s a good insulator, effective against weeds, and breaks down quickly to enrich the soil. Alfalfa hay is especially good, because as a legume, it provides nitrogen to your soil.

Does hay or straw have seeds?

Hay vs.

Hay is grass that has been cut while it is still green and full of nutrients, but before it has gone to seed. The highest quality hay will have few to no seeds, but some are inevitable. Farmers use hay to feed livestock. Straw is the stalk that is left over after a grain, like barley, has been harvested.