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silage vs haylage

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jillaroo

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The ranch we are at currently puts up silage and hay to feed the cow herd over the winter.
With all the breakdowns and labour costs associated with silaging, we are entertaining the thought of switching over to haylage.
I would certainly appreciate any thoughts or opinions that the ranchers users can offer.
We have 800 cows to feed and around 200 calves in a feedlot over the winter.
Thanks!
 

3 M L & C

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I always thought silage just amounted to more equipment to feed more product to feed and more manure to deal with.
 

PATB

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Please define silage. Silage usually means corn in my area. Haylage/baleage refers to grass that is insiled in a pile or bales that are individually wrap at high moisture.
 

Silver

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In these parts silage refers to anything ensiled, in any form. Bale silage, chopped silage..... it's all silage.
I like the bale silage (oats or hay on this place) because it doesn't require another line of equipment to either make it or feed it, only a wrapper of some description and the plastic required to wrap the bales.
Green feed (oats in our case) seem to be better utilized in silage form than when baled dry, especially when fed to calves as dry oat hay is not generally a big hit with them.
 

cowsense

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Could be mistaken but our dairy neighbours do both; haylage is usually partially sun dryed & put up about 15 percent less moisture than silage.
 

jillaroo

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Sorry for being rather vague about the terms. It seems everyone calls it something different.
We are currently putting up silage that is chopped, hauled to a pit, packed and covered in plastic.
We would like to bale the crop at a high moisture content and then wrap the bales in plastic.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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If you going to buy the equipment to put up bale silage instead of hiring a crew to fill the pit it is going to take a fair investment to buy the equipment and increase the labour needs over a longer period of time. If your in a place that gets multiple cuts of hay you will get the field cleared faster and the water back on quicker filling the pit.
 

Silver

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Big Muddy rancher said:
If you going to buy the equipment to put up bale silage instead of hiring a crew to fill the pit it is going to take a fair investment to buy the equipment and increase the labour needs over a longer period of time. If your in a place that gets multiple cuts of hay you will get the field cleared faster and the water back on quicker filling the pit.

Cost us $1,700 to start making bale silage, plus plastic.
 

3words

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Silver said:
Big Muddy rancher said:
If you going to buy the equipment to put up bale silage instead of hiring a crew to fill the pit it is going to take a fair investment to buy the equipment and increase the labour needs over a longer period of time. If your in a place that gets multiple cuts of hay you will get the field cleared faster and the water back on quicker filling the pit.

Cost us $1,700 to start making bale silage, plus plastic.

How did you do it so cheap?
 

PATB

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You need to look at the cost of the equipment to handle high moisture haylage bales. You need a wrapper of some kind. You will need transport for the bales and away to pick them up and move them. Not all balers are equal to the task of baling high moisture haylage either. Then there is the cost of the plasitc to wrap the bales. I currently figure around 3 dollars per individualy wrapped 4x4 bale. The high moisture bales need to be wrapped under 24 hours perferrablyunder 12. Pit ensiled high mositure hay is usually far cheaper then individually wrapped bales.
 

burnt

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3words said:
Silver said:
Big Muddy rancher said:
If you going to buy the equipment to put up bale silage instead of hiring a crew to fill the pit it is going to take a fair investment to buy the equipment and increase the labour needs over a longer period of time. If your in a place that gets multiple cuts of hay you will get the field cleared faster and the water back on quicker filling the pit.

Cost us $1,700 to start making bale silage, plus plastic.

How did you do it so cheap?

Sounds really cheap! So cheap that he might not want to tell you! :wink: :lol:

There are starting to be a few cheaper used bale wrappers around now.

If Jillaroo is doing any volume at all, then the flexibility afforded by owning a wrapper would be pretty nice and wouldn't it still be cheaper than owning a lineup of equipment for chopping it into a pit? And you still have to cover the pit with plastic too?

The one drawback to baling and wrapping would be if the bale would then have to be put into a grinder before feeding. Then the chopped haylage route would look better.

Bottom line is that there is nothing better for haying than a stretch of sunny weather and low humidity . . . :?
 

4Diamond

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Many around here tube wrap hay and it never makes it to a grinder. Cattle clean it up very well.
 

Hayguy

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PATB said:
You need to look at the cost of the equipment to handle high moisture haylage bales. You need a wrapper of some kind. You will need transport for the bales and away to pick them up and move them. Not all balers are equal to the task of baling high moisture haylage either. Then there is the cost of the plasitc to wrap the bales. I currently figure around 3 dollars per individualy wrapped 4x4 bale. The high moisture bales need to be wrapped under 24 hours perferrablyunder 12. Pit ensiled high mositure hay is usually far cheaper then individually wrapped bales.


so what constitutes a good haylage baler?
 

PATB

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hayguy said:
PATB said:
You need to look at the cost of the equipment to handle high moisture haylage bales. You need a wrapper of some kind. You will need transport for the bales and away to pick them up and move them. Not all balers are equal to the task of baling high moisture haylage either. Then there is the cost of the plasitc to wrap the bales. I currently figure around 3 dollars per individualy wrapped 4x4 bale. The high moisture bales need to be wrapped under 24 hours perferrablyunder 12. Pit ensiled high mositure hay is usually far cheaper then individually wrapped bales.


so what constitutes a good haylage baler?

something different then my JD 335.
 

Silver

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This is a $1,700 silage maker.
wrapping1re.jpg


I would maintain that it is not more labour intensive than chopping.2 or 3 people can make a lot of silage in a day, and other than the tuber it's all the same equipment we use for haying.
Also, you don't need a bunch of different equipment for feeding or handling the bales. No silage wagons or toothed buckets... they're just bales after all.
We usually just make a few hundred (hopefully not more than 500 most years), and the nice part is it allows you to pay less attention to the weather forcast when cutting hay (or often oats in our case). The thing is if you start making it, you need to make enough to make it worthwhile as it takes a bit to get their guts working on it. Idealy we like to keep the moisture between 30 and 40%, but have done it as low as almost dry (20% range) and while it didn't smell ensilated when fed, it was beautiful feed.
We just bale it with a JD 566 which is not a silage special, and it works fine. If the moisture gets too high you will get a build up on a couple of rollers you will have to remove occasionally, but it's not a big deal. We used to use the 530 baler, but the monitor for the 566 is far more accurate for getting the bale size right for the tuber. They tell me the NH balers do not like to make silage bales without the silage kit.
 

3 M L & C

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4Diamond said:
Many around here tube wrap hay and it never makes it to a grinder. Cattle clean it up very well.

What is the advantage of this? Just baling qucker before a rain comes or what? Most stuff that is silage around here is just crappy corn. Even on a good year only the worst gets silaged.
 

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