Free Hay mulch

A couple of nights ago whilst driving home on the open road I found 2 bales of hay. I managed to get them in the car & figured I had saved myself $20, $10 a bale is about right.
I spread one bale around some trees today as mulch. I reckoned I had done well until I noticed all the thistle seeds in the mix.
rob
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On 7/28/07 5:59 AM, in article f8f2pa$pr3$ snipped-for-privacy@lust.ihug.co.nz, "George.com"

I believe that is filed under - oh SHIT! Rake it up and compost on hot! Cheryl
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Cheryl Isaak wrote:

$10/bale???? I hope that's for Alfalfa, or Timothy at that price....

I agree with cheryl......big uh-oh.....thistles got to go....
'round here square bales go from $2.50+ (depending on quality, sprayed & or not sprayed). You can get a nice big round bale starting at $15+. Of course with the way the weather has been here, I wouldn't be surprised to see hay prices go up. Every one will be short on hay this year...we've only cut each field 2-3 times so far. By this time last year, we had already gotten at least 5 cuts. We're talking 100 or so round bales per cut.....that adds up.
Rachael aka Rae Co-owner/operator Simpson Hay Farms
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wrote:

bales
$20,
no, grass hay. The animal feed store at the borth of the city sells them for $10 a pop. If you want to drive put into the country you can get them cheaper from the farmer. I will do neither. 2 free bales just looked too good to pass up. Any thistles will germinate at their peril. Must have been a mid summer cut of hay judging by the thistle heads. The prickles do keep the dogs off the garden though.
rob
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Wow, regional differences...
We are proud to get one cutting a year of timothy a year. We started mowing two days ago. When we sell hay, we get $9 in the field for a 50# square bale. (We can't grow alfalfa. Our soil pH is wrong.) We don't spray. (Are you talking about spraying with propionic acid or herbicides?)
When we sell a 5x5 round bale, it's $60. Mostly we don't sell any, but if we have a few extra and a neighbor needs some, we'll sell a few bales. (Squares go for nearly $500/ton here in February!)
We normally put up 1000 square bales and 200 ton of round bales to feed our cows and several really bratty horses. We normally have to feed for 250 days/year. (High latitudes, deep snow country.) Our protein runs between 8 and 13%, depending on the year. (I'd have to look in my records to give you ADF & TDN's.)
Chris and I mowed a 30 acre meadow in 5 hours today. We may have set a land-speed record for our place : ) Our newest tractor is a 1964 Ford 881 and our oldest is a 1951 Model M John Deere. That's what we were running today, both with sickle bar mowers. (Don't laugh -- all of our equipment is paid for, and we can fix all of it with a screwdriver, a pair of pliers and a cresent wrench. Or damned near.)
Anyway, I found some yellow hawksbeard in one meadow last year. It's a horrendous noxious weed that will totally invade a hay meadow, if given half a chance. I carefully mapped the location of the weeds, then forgot all about it this spring. The stuff is *really* hard to eradicate, because it spreads by seed _and_ by creeping rhizomes. (When I found it, I pulled every plant, bagged them and burned them, but I know the roots will kick up new plants this year.)
We stopped letting friends park their pickups and horse trailers on the ranch, because vehicles transport noxious weed seeds in mud on the vehicle frames so efficiently. We provide alternate parking on an old log deck away from our hay meadows. (We're at the trailhead of a popular place for people to ride their horses.)
Jan in Alaska
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Jan Flora wrote:

I'd say!

Spray fields are the ones around turkey, chicken, and hog houses/farms. They spray the fields there with the liquid nitrogen aka waste. Some people don't believe in feeding it to their stock..say it's not good enough, but with the scarcity of hay this year (and last) more people are turning to it because it is cheaper and there is more of it available. Most of the hay on those farms is coastal bermuda, oat, and rye (in winter only). We have a contract with some of those farms around here to keep their fields cut and cleaned to regulations. We get the hay to use however we see fit ie, keep or sell. The round bales from spray fields start at $15.00. Rye/oats are $25.00.
We also cut and bale or just bale for others around here. They pay, they keep, or we go halves....half for them, half for us.
We start our prices for hay a little cheaper than our local competition, usually break just over even by the end of the season. When we get the equipment payments off of us, we will clear more.

Our cows and horses are on pasture, and we throw a few hay bales out every few weeks. For 5 cows (3 cows, 2 calves), and 10 horses in that location, we used about 75 round bales last year. With the current drought, we will need a lot more hay this year for winter.

Hey, payed for is the best type....when they still run after the payment is over with! We have a Case/New Holland round baler (can't remember the model #, but it's only about 5-6 years old, from before new holland went blue!, bought used and only one payment left!) a Massey Furgeson 399(was used) & 431(brand new upon purchase), still paying on both, and a Vandmeer cutter (paid for!). The tedder and the rake are both Case I think, and they are paid for.
Headed to the ag office today to see about applying for a usda loan. Have resisted doing such for 4 years. The only loans we have taken out were to finance the tractors & equipment. According to the website, we still qualify for beginners loans. Want to buy some farm land to tend, and I want to get a stud service started with our 2 paint ponies and one quarter horse. They throw beautiful babies, so should do well there with then right advertising and word-of-mouth. Paint ponies are a rare thing around here. Also looking at new pasture land, as I found out some info on the other pasture I had posted about in the past under the "help" thread. It turns out that plans are to re-route a local highway thru the area by that pasture within the next 5 years. Want to get away from that. Will probably sell out when that time comes.

Sounds like our pigweed. We have an awful time with pigweed and crab grass getting into the hay. Totally takes over if allowed and un-watched.

We don't have that problem although we are near the opening to the dinny woods trail, don't have much land open here at the house....People usually park in the driveways and open areas near the turkey houses/farms.

Oh, we generally set our baler to produce 4x5s, as they are a bit easier for our customers to manage....but also do 5x5's.
Rae
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I've found the best way to eliminate the yh roots is to bunch the foliage to one side in my hand, slide a sharp knife down into the soil and slice through the root as deep as possible. Very few of them will come back from deep cutting.

You should see how careful Australia is about that; hugely impressive.
Janet
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About 50 years ago a neighbor about 2 miles away was able to acquire a few truck loads of discarded sheep wool. The intent was to enrich the soil. The result was we have a bunch of weird weeds just about everywhere.
DEATH to AJUGA.
Bill
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S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
http://www.ocutech.com/ High tech Vison aid
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The message

Hey, I use lots of discarded sheep wool in my compost heaps (clippings from the shearing shed floor) ...no weird weeds have resulted, which is rather disappointing. What am I doing wrong? :-)
Janet.
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Give it a bit of time.
Bill
--

S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
http://www.ocutech.com/ High tech Vison aid
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Janet Baraclough wrote:

Will that stuff decompose?
So, the weird weeds, is that like Lamb's Ear? ;-)
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Yes, surprisingly fast IME; after a 6 month stint in the compost bins it's usually indistinguishable from all the other stuff and makes great fertiliser.

hmmm..or sheepsbit scabious maybe...
Janet.
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No. Lamb's Rear.
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We do the same (on a smaller scale) with cat and dog hair (which gets recovered from any imaginable corner of the house).

You need to be shearing alien sheep from outer space. That's where the truly weird human-eating weeds come from in old movies, right?
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I'll try that. The SO asked what sort of herbicides I have. Uh, none, except 15% acetic acid. I don't use garden poisons...
I told him to get a handful of urea and burn each plant. He didn't do that yesterday, so I'll go cut those plants today, as you recommend. Our infestation is very small and localized right now. I pulled every bloom & seedhead off the plants and burned them yesterday.

Hmm. Do they make people pressure wash their vehicle frames?
Everytime I drive into Alaska from Canada (from running up western Canada from Seattle), I stop in the first town in AK and pressure wash my rig, mostly underneath. They have Canada thistle in western Canada. We have a very small bit of it in Alaska right now and our weed warriors are trying to eliminate it.

Jan
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They checked all our shoes at immigration (all the ones in your luggage, not just the ones you're wearing), warn drivers about transporting mud, bugs, eggs and seeds on tyres and mudflaps, and ask horseriders in nature reserves to bag and carry out their own shit and the horses shit. Plus, there is a ban on carrying any fruit into the country in luggage, and, transporting it between states in your car etc (to prevent spread of plant diseases to commercial crops). Those are just the restrictions we came across in a one month visit , there may be more :-)
Janet.
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Don't worry. If thistles germinate in the mulch, they will be easy to tweak out while small and can be put in the compost heap. Thistles are such a good compost-material I harvest sacks of them from the farm field next door.
Janet
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wrote:

$20,
done
the bastards will be dealt to, no doubt at all. They will never see flowering time.
rob
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Repeat to yourself: Hay is not straw.
Also, hay is expected to go for near-gold prices this fall. You probably could have bought eight bags of mulch for what you could have got for those two bails. I kid you not, I heard of a farmer here in Indiana being offered $15/bale for a 1000 bale load NOW.
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I do not have the answer, however I have this for examples of correct mulching.
Mulching - http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/sub3.html and http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/M/ Look up "Mulch"
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.
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