NDSU Extension - Williams County


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Hay Bales - September 8, 2016

County Agent Update

Danielle Steinhoff


Do I have enough bales?


With September among us, prime baling season is over. As the plants are mature and starting to go dormant, ranchers hope they have enough baled to last them throughout the winter. This information is from Karl Hoppe, Area Extension Livestock Specialist in Carrington. The simply answer to know if you have enough for your herd is to have 6-9 bales for each cow to be fed over the winter. Now, that’s one bale of good quality hay per month, assuming that the hay weighs 1,200 pounds, then one bale per month should meet a non-lactating pregnant cow’s feed requirement. Which is consuming 40 pounds of hay daily for 30 days. Grazing crop residue and swath grazing can reduce the number of round bales needed during the winter feeding season. Extending into subzero weather can increase hay consumption and/or waste by 10-30%. It is always a good plan to have a few extra bales available to your operation when poor weather conditions exists. As cattle will consume more hay and use some for ground cover. Some managers will opt for 10% extra inventory while some secure a full extra years supply, do whatever works best for your operation. Don’t forget to think about bulls and replacement heifers. The early 2016 hay production was a challenge due to lack of winter snow and minimal March and April rains, which late season hay production was affected by rainfall as well. Good quality hay may be in limited supply, but as long as you remember rain can damage hay and straw, supplementations may be required. Energy is normally the limiting factor in poor-quality hay rations. Corn silage is an excellent source of energy if it is available. If not, there are many co-product feeds available. Testing hay quality is important, especially this year. Contact the NDSU Extension office for more information 701-577-4595.



February is Fast Approaching


64th National Hard Spring Wheat Show is going to be held February 7-9, 2017. The 7th will be the bread fair for the area 5th graders, and the 8th and 9th  will be presentations for the local ranchers, farmers and businesses. The wheat show committee wants to hear from you! Please contact Desire’e or Danielle at the NDSU Extension office with any suggestions of topics or speakers, 701-577-4595.


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