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Using Your Tractor & Crop Talk

Discussion Board - 2nd Cut - Why is a 2nd Hay Cut So Desirable???

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Bill Va

08-23-2014 15:12:44
216.24.79.193



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So you cut your grass hay before it matures and goes to seed - and you got some quality hay. That's the first cut.

But some folks like the second cut better - why?

What makes a 2nd cut more desirable than the first for some folks?

Just curious - thanks!
Bill




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Bret4207

08-29-2014 04:57:35
64.19.90.196



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 Re: 2nd Cut - Why is a 2nd Hay Cut So Desirable??? in reply to Bill Va, 08-23-2014 15:12:44  
I dunno. I know here the grass is usually 2 months or more old before the fields are dry enough to cut for dry hay. That was what threw me on that paper I got. But now I'm wondering if they were talking baleage and not dry hay. One of the problems I see even with the Co-Op Ext up here and a lot of farmers is they don't differentiate between baleage and dry hay. When I hear of guys working 2nd cut I have to ask which it is. 3rd or 4th cut they always are making wrapped bales. Dry hay is another thing.

Wish I could find that article.

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Bret4207

08-26-2014 04:32:27
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 Re: 2nd Cut - Why is a 2nd Hay Cut So Desirable??? in reply to Bill Va, 08-23-2014 15:12:44  
I'll see if I can find it, I think it was from the Co-operative Extension. Didn't make a lot of sense to me but I'm thinking timing has to have a lot to do with it.
This post was edited by Bret4207 at 04:33:13 08/26/14.



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Bill Va

08-24-2014 17:04:33
64.203.161.213



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 Re: 2nd Cut - Why is a 2nd Hay Cut So Desirable??? in reply to Bill Va, 08-23-2014 15:12:44  
Thanks everyone!

Great info!!!!!!

Bill



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hayray

08-24-2014 16:38:00
173.159.83.251



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 Re: 2nd Cut - Why is a 2nd Hay Cut So Desirable??? in reply to Bill Va, 08-23-2014 15:12:44  
No, 2nd cut hay as noted by Kyhayman will have higher protien, that is used in the calculation for TDN along with digestable energy which is higher in subsequent cuttings as well. Therefore feed value plays a role as well as supply and demand.



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redforlife

08-28-2014 23:46:55
68.234.121.124



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 Re: 2nd Cut - Why is a 2nd Hay Cut So Desirable??? in reply to hayray, 08-24-2014 16:38:00  
This, and what Bret4207 said got me to thinking. I wonder if it matters what part of the country your in, and what kind of grass hay your talking about. Where I live, re-growth on grass don't amount to much and certainly doesn't have any food value. 2nd cutting grass hay is un-heard of. No one really even does it. What little re-growth there ends up being is lush (all water), dries down to nothing, and has no protein. For it to be better, you guys got to be talking about grass we don't have here, and live a long ways away from where I am at.

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Bret4207

08-25-2014 05:14:54
64.19.90.196



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 Re: 2nd Cut - Why is a 2nd Hay Cut So Desirable??? in reply to hayray, 08-24-2014 16:38:00  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Huh. I just got a thing in the mail saying the exact opposite, that 1st cut here would be higher across the board. Maybe it has to do with just when the 1st cut is cut?



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hayray

08-25-2014 19:47:53
173.159.83.251



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 Re: 2nd Cut - Why is a 2nd Hay Cut So Desirable??? in reply to Bret4207, 08-25-2014 05:14:54  
That is interesting, is there any way you can post what you got in the mail? I have had a lot of hay tested through the years and that has almost never been the case.



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kyhayman

08-24-2014 10:33:14
99.196.189.115



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 Re: 2nd Cut - Why is a 2nd Hay Cut So Desirable??? in reply to Bill Va, 08-23-2014 15:12:44  
I think a lot has to do with location. North, there is typically quite a bit of ground cover left on so you get lots of filth in the hay from dead grass, weeds, etc. Here in the upper south, you've got the same issues except where people graze there hay fields short in the late fall (I do that, to eliminate the 'stuff'). But, its hard to make good hay here early. Orchardgrass peaks May 10 or so and declines a lot by May 20 in the neck of the woods (University of KY, Harvesting Quality Forages). Its rare to get enough weather that early in the season to put up good hay that isnt dusty. Second cut is usually cleaner, less seed heads, higher protein and TDN, softer, and doesnt yet have a lot of summer weeds in it. That applies in this area code. North or south may vary.

Then there is the whole perception from alfalfa mixtures. First cut will typically have a lot more grass in it and that grass is stem and long fiber. Plus there is more total supply so the laws of supply and demand dictate that if you have more of a lower quality product and less of a higher quality product price should be higher.

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Bret4207

08-24-2014 05:59:38
64.19.90.196



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 Re: 2nd Cut - Why is a 2nd Hay Cut So Desirable??? in reply to Bill Va, 08-23-2014 15:12:44  
2nd cut won't have the dead winter grass in it, so many weeds, it tends to be "softer" and greener and looks better. It's also has lower protein and energy content. But, it sure is pretty!



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redforlife

08-23-2014 15:32:57
68.234.121.124



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 Re: 2nd Cut - Why is a 2nd Hay Cut So Desirable??? in reply to Bill Va, 08-23-2014 15:12:44  
First cut grass hay is good. Protein levels go way down on second cut grass hay. I personally don't cut grass hay a second time. Alfalfa is a different story. Second cutting better than first, third better than second, and protein levels go up. Its because first cut is stemier and the stems don't have much protein in it. Its all in the leaves and second and third cuttings have a higher ratio of leaves versus stems. Hope that makes sense.

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JMS/.MN

08-23-2014 15:23:23
209.237.125.241



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 Re: 2nd Cut - Why is a 2nd Hay Cut So Desirable??? in reply to Bill Va, 08-23-2014 15:12:44  
It doesn"t have the over-winter crap in it.



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