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Mathematics to pick on...

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RSL

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I sat down and figured my numbers out for our rake bunching experiment...
Into two categories - Rake bunching costs, plus additionals = per day cost
We bunched 8 acres and I charged the cutting out at a custom rate of $15/acre (a bit higher than going rate) and the raking at a generous $10 an acre. Charged labour out at $15 an hour to move wire at a generous 1/2 hour per week (more like 15 minutes including commuting time).

This works out to $120 cutting, $80 Raking, and $135 labour when I include the hour it took me to lube up the rake and find a rope and to move fence over the winter. I was generous here as I also used about $2 worth of WD40.
We had a conservative estimate of 1771 AUGD from November 22, to a March 10 end date.

I figured everything out on an AUGD - grazing day for 1000 pound equivalent cow. With smaller animals it is less per day and larger it is more, but it standardizes things.

Raking and bunching thus cost me $0.113 per AUGD, labour was $0.076 per AUGD for a total cost of $0.189 per AUGD.
When you add mineral costs and taxes it rises to right around $0.25 per day, but the establishment costs are already depreciated (1994 stand) and we also took 80 AUGD/acre off earlier in the year through our rotation.

Even if I am 100% wrong (double the cost) I think we will try this one again.
 

burnt

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Can't beat that for cheap winter maintenance. Plus the manure is right where you want it - no handling cost there. Stuff like that keeps you in the game for a long time.
 

leanin' H

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For a quarter a day that sure seems like a good way to winter cows! :D I'm no mathmetician but it sounds great to me! :wink: Does the snow ever crust so hard they can't get to the bunches?
 

RSL

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leanin' H said:
For a quarter a day that sure seems like a good way to winter cows! :D I'm no mathmetician but it sounds great to me! :wink: Does the snow ever crust so hard they can't get to the bunches?

It is dry enough now that I wish I was able to give a definitive answer to that. I know the bunches settled a lot, but I think there is enough cushion they could bust through a lot of crust.
We observed that utilization was better when we had more snow (for fleeting moments this winter).
I would also like to test and see how they hold up to fall moisture. The research says good, but I am not sure.
 

eatbeef

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How many cows can you winter on 8 acres of hay in your area. Here 8 acres might feed 8 cows for the 60 days we feed per year hay per year.
 

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