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10 Hay Farming Basics: Producing A Quality Hay Product

1. Set Price Based On Production Costs And Local Market
Regardless of the market, producers need to know the cost of producing the hay and the current prices in their market area that moves the hay and brings in a profit.

2. Carefully Select Alfalfa Or Grass When Choosing Varieties
Selecting the best variety, regardless of the seed cost, will pay for itself every year of the stand.

3. What To Do For Spring Forage Seeding
Forage seedings can be made in the spring as soon as a suitable seedbed can be prepared.

4. Be Careful On Slopes – Consider Erosion Protection
Consider 1 to 2 bushels of oats per acre or a reduced seeding rate of another spring cereal grain to be seeded with forage mixtures.

5. Winter Survival Comes Next: Manage Fall Hay For Winter Injury
The greatest loss to most hay growers isn’t stand kill, but stand injury.

6. Fall Management Guidelines When Considering Fall Cutting
Generally, the higher the fall dormancy, the quicker the varieties start growing in spring and after each cutting.

7. Set The Schedule For Hay Quality
Deciding when to make the first cutting of hay sets the stage for the rest of the year.

8. Knowing Your RFV And Deciding When To Cut
The decision to cut should be based on feed quality needs.

9. Why You Should Know How Cool-Season Grass Grows
With grass, growth takes priority over storage for carbohydrates. Some grasses are more slow to recover than others.

10. Hay Is Worth Testing To Improve Feedings
An inexpensive hay test can offer the best guidance as to how much supplemental feed is required. Be sure to test bad hay as well.

(Source – http://farmprogress.com/whitepaper-10-hay-farming-basics-producing-quality-hay-product-7)

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