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Discussion Board - Re: seeding over old grass hay

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willie in mn

08-17-2014 00:15:57

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Hay crops have changed a lot over the years. Grew up in southern Mn, next to the Corn Patch border. I have been away from the farm since 58. Dad died of cancer winter of 58-59, my brother was in Army, I was to young at the time to take over, & between me & Mom, we didn't know enough about the operation to make a success out of it.

In those days, grass hay was considered junk, suitable only for horses. Alfalfa or clover hay was considered too rich for horses, made them fat & lazy. Since Dad was the only one in neighborhood that still had horses, we harvested road ditch grass for them. Grass hay was free. Beef & dairy cattle got alfalfa or red clover hay. No one expected to get a hay crop the year it was seeded. It was worked into the corn, soybean, oats rotation. Hay ground was plowed down as "green manure" after being harvested 3 or 4 years. It was seeded with oats, or flax, as a "nurse crop". Harvest the oats/flax, & if a late fall season, get a cutting of hay off it the same year.

The thinking at the time was that alfalfa/clover was more efficient use of the land for beef weight gain or milk production. Just rambling.

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08-17-2014 08:59:46

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 Re: seeding over old grass hay in reply to willie in mn, 08-17-2014 00:15:57  
Most of that still applies today, But around here you can get more from horse owners than cattle guys. My best prices so far this yr have come from second yr alfalfa/orchard grass. Made some of my best hay from that ground this year. It all went to horses at a premium price. All local delivery to boot.

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