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1st Cutting Alfalfa 5/13/2021

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Mountain Cowgirl

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It is a beauty with temperature and humidity perfect. This cutting is about as prime and clean as alfalfa gets. I think this is as early as I have ever seen this field cut. It looks like it will be a great yield.
 

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Evans

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I can't believe how early your growing season is. How many times will they cut it this year if they dont get hailed out?
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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I can't believe how early your growing season is. How many times will they cut it this year if they dont get hailed out?

They are hoping for 4 cuttings. Only once in 30 years, I have been in this area that alfalfa was damaged by hail. It certainly looks promising for a great hay year.
 

webfoot

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We are a good 2 - 3 weeks behind you with the alfalfa. We get 3 cuttings here and that third is often pushing it.
The hay brokers are all saying $200 hay by fall.
 

leanin' H

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Wow!!!! We may get enough water for one crop this year. And we are 6-8 weeks away from even thinking about cutting hay. That is amazing that y’all have hay down already up there
 

DosArroyos

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Lots of wheat is getting laid down right now around here.The lack of rain let most farmers disaster their crop and adjusters have been busy.I imagine 1200 pound bales will be $100 delivered.Going to try to get a 100 bales or what I can.I just had a guy lay down 50 acres of oats that might make 75 bales.I fed 321 bales last year from late July,then thru Winter,up until March 20th so I'll still be looking for more.Have my name on 200 bales of grazer,but it won't be baled for a good while.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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It was turned yesterday and looking good. We have been having some cool days and higher humidity which is unusual for May which has slowed drying, but so far looking premium.
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Mountain Cowgirl

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Did the hay get rained on?
No, it may get rain in a couple of days if it doesn't get dry enough. Rain is forecast for tomorrow. They are gambling and this cold spell isn't helping. They always turn early cut high-quality alfalfa hay here as it helps with drying uniformity and keeps leaves intact at the baling time. Without turning, by the time the bottom is dry the top is overdried and loses a lot of leaves that don't get baled.
 
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Evans

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Seeing your pictures of windrows is getting me all excited about baling hay!
But then I look outside and its actually snowing here now. Oh well its moisture so I'll take it.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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Baled last afternoon. Beautiful color! Now that the hay is up and water is on the field, the forecast is revised to no rain in the next 10 days. I am estimating these 3' x 4' x 8' six tie bales at about 1500 lbs. I counted 142 bales. Roughly that is 106 tons and the field is about 10 acres with the 1/4 mile set and a big gun on the end to cover an additional 1 1/2 acres. So I estimate about 9 tons to the acre for a 1st cutting. I am guessing it will sell quickly and bring at least $225 per ton. Most of this quality is trucked out of the area.
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Evans

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😀its hard for me to wrap my head around people paying $225 a ton this time a year.
Must be dairy outfits?
 

webfoot

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😀its hard for me to wrap my head around people paying $225 a ton this time a year.
Must be dairy outfits?
A lot of that premium alfalfa gets re-compressed, loaded into containers, and shipped to Japan.
 

leanin' H

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5 tons to the acre here if you TOTAL three crops:oops:
That is unbelievable they get that much off one crop.

And FWIW, i'd take 100 ton of $225 a ton hay right now and be happy. It's over that here now and there is none to be had.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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5 tons to the acre here if you TOTAL three crops:oops:
That is unbelievable they get that much off one crop.

And FWIW, i'd take 100 ton of $225 a ton hay right now and be happy. It's over that here now and there is none to be had.
That $225 is the cost for the hay truckers. I have no idea what they get from the dairy's but they live quite high on the hog so they aren't trucking out of charity, hahaha. I think most around here and further out east here in Oregon already have all the hay they can bale sold for market price at the time of baling and also the quality is a big factor. Even the grass hay grown for horses is getting outrageous and the super clean grass blends are never seen for sale. When I grew up in southwest Colorado there were many high yield irrigated alfalfa fields that usually produced two nice cuttings and instead of a paltry 3rd, it was plowed in and prepared for reseeding. Now those high Mesas are all houses and small acreages, usually with horses. Where does most of your hay come from besides your own fields? Will you reduce brood cow herd size this fall? I was talking to a good friend, a vet, that keeps up with all the local ranch talk and she says many here and some further east are considering reducing their herds and selling some of their hay. Selling the hay is becoming more profitable than wintering brood cows. It is a sad state of affairs, but that is ranch life.
 

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