The Kerr Center for Sustainable AgricultureErin JenkinsThe True Cost of Hay
Factors to Consider…• Equipment andmaintenance• Fuel• Labor• Fertilizer application• Soil Testing• Hay Test Analysis• Fertilizer application• Planting and harvesting• Seeds• Application• Labor• Hauling and Feeding• Storage
Equipment and MaintenanceEquipment and maintenance required for planting and harvesting hay• Current market value of machinery and equipment.• Machinery depreciation- the declining value of assets.• Wage rate- total cost of labor involved in hay harvest and planting.• Annual cost of supervisory management- Management overseeinghay harvest and hauling• Fuel used for planting, harvesting, and hauling hay.• Insurance rate for the machinery and equipment as a percentage ofit’s total market value.• Annual repair costs• Miscellaneous costs- hay-wrap, twine, or wire per bale.
Calculating Cost at HarvestOperation Average Cost per Acre*Cutting, Raking, Baling Large Bales $26.00*Flat Rate of Hauling 1 Round Bale $5.75Total $31.75 round bale/acre* Doye, Damona, and Roger Sahs. Oklahoma Farm and Ranch Custom Rates, 2011-2012.Publication no. CR-205. N.p.: Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, n.d. Print.
What’s being taken out of the field?*Analysis ResultADF, Fiber 51 %Crude Protein 9 %Moisture 12.1 %TDN 51.55 %Nitrogen 1.45 %Total Calcium 4,735 mg/KgTotal Potassium 12,200 mg/KgTotal Magnesium 1,745 mg/KgTotal Phosphorus 1,840 mg/KgTotal Sulfur 1,395 mg/KgAverage hay analysis of nutritional value from large roundhay bales.* Samples were taken from The Kerr Center’s large roundbales.
Total Cost per AcreAverage harvest of 1200 pound round bales per acreis 2.5 bales.2.5 bales per acre X $31.75 per bale= $79.38 of balesper acre$164. 46 + 79.38= $243.84 per acre
Fertilizer Application• Soil fertility- soil’s ability to provide essential plant nutrients inadequate amounts and proper proportions to sustain plantgrowth. It is a component of the soil productivity that is quitevariable and strongly influenced by management.• Soil management includes using the best availableknowledge, techniques, materials, and equipment in cropmanagement. Proper utilization of crop residues can be a keymanagement practice.• Crop residues returned to the soil can improve soil productivitythrough the addition of organic matter and plant nutrients. Theorganic matter also contributes to an improved physicalcondition of the soil, which increases water infiltration andstorage and aides aeration.• Before applying fertilizer, a soil test must be done to confirmwhat the limiting nutrient(s) is in the soil.
When a farmer harvests a field at the end of a season, nutrients arealso being harvested out of the soil. Unless hay is fed back to thecattle on the same ground it is grown, nutrients can be lost. There isa cycle in which the plant takes up nutrients it needs, and when itdies many of the nutrients, such as nitrogen, is released back intothe soil. When the plant is harvested and taken away, nutrients mustbe replaced if a desirable crop is to be grown the next year. Groundcover is also lost in this process, which can lead to topsoil erosion.
Hauling and Feeding• The cost of hauling hay out of the field to the storagebarn, then from the storage barn to the field, can be timeand fuel costly.• Feeding methods can also have an effect on how muchloss you can have.• Feeding hay without a• feeder can bring a loss• up to 50%.• Cattle tug and pull the• hay loose and stomp itinto the soil where itbecomes spoiled.
StorageThere are two main ways to store hay balesOutdoorStorageIndoor (Barn)Storage
Storage InsideAdvantages• Can reduce soil moisture/hay contact,• Reduce outdoor precipitation,• Reduce loss to spoilage.• Increase hay nutritional valueDisadvantages• Decreased storage space• Increase in accidental incidents such as balesfalling.• Damage to barns if too much pressure is built onthe side walls.• Welcoming environment for unwelcome critters
Storage OutsideAdvantages• Increased storage space• Less wildlife interferenceDisadvantages• Increase moisture and spoilage• Less nutritional value• Heat exposure
Storage OutsideStoring bales on pallets orgravel rows will help decreaseground moisture spoilage.Bales should not be stacked ifthey are stored outside. If theyare, then a tarp or coveringshould be applied.
Ways to Decrease the Need of HayGrazing management- the manipulation of animal grazing toachieve optimum and sustained animal, plant, land, environmentalor economic results while ensuring a continuous supply of foragesto grazing animals.• Decrease soil and nutrition loss by water runoff,• Increase infiltration in the soil,• Maintain high amounts of organic matter to improve rapidnutrient recycling to the soil,• To manage a healthy and productive pasture that willensure the full productive potential of grazing land.• Thus, decreasing the amount of fertilizer needed in thesoil, reducing the time and labor needed to harvest, anddecreasing the amount of fuel loss needed to runequipment for harvesting, hauling, and feeding.
Feeding MethodsModified cone feeder with sheetingat bottom.Conventional open bottom steelring feeder. Light andinexpensive, however it canwaste up to 21% of hay.Conventional steel ring feeder withsheeting on bottom. Hay wastage canbe reduced to approximately 13%
Feeding MethodsA modified cone feeder seton a trailer.Feeder with roofing to keep rainand moisture off of bales.Feeder is also lifted to preventground moisture.
Comparing Skirting MethodsA farmer can save up to 8% of the hay loss just by adding a skirt to the hay ring. 8percent may not be a whole lot, but lets say a farmer has 100 head of cattle, and in 120days (the average length of hay feeding period in Oklahoma) those cattle consume 25pounds per head per day.120 Days X 100 Head X 25 lbs/Head/Day= 300,000 lbs300,000 lbs X 8% hay saved= 24,000 lbs hay saved or 12 tons
More Over the True Cost of HaySunUpTV of Oklahoma State UniversityHay FeedersHay Feeder Research http://youtu.be/1-u9BUflNN8Hay Feeder Research: The ResultsEfficient Hay Use (11/10/12)http://youtu.be/3Pljlb0gWP4http://youtu.be/f5Ou0csDNgYhttp://youtu.be/XDf3q3vsVG0