Friday, January 20, 2006

feed and balers

Dave and I talked to out cow nutritionist yesterday. We were waiting for him. Well, not like the check I want in the mail, just had questions...

Bruce switched to GMO corn. There was that drought, so we had to buy and feed a lot more corn than we usually do. The corn for this planting is $160/bag and we don't feel comfortable feeding it. We didn't know it was GMO until it was in the silo. It was average feed with low minerals. It cost us too much money for the milk we produce. About $5000! We cannot do that this year. We like Bruce very much, but we need to go back to our principles and feed the cows baleage or haylage or dry hay or something...

In talking to Peter and other cheese technitions, dry hay is the best feed. Baleage is next. Corn silage is the last choice for good cheese. We need to make some volume of milk to pay the bills monthly, so we are going to aim for second best, baleage.

I was impressed with Dave's desire to learn more about the internet. He wanted me to show him how to look for used balers. We need a specific size bale to fit into the barn we have. Ideally a 3' bale. The baler has to be able to handle heavier (wetter) feed. Out Hesston baler is too weak and doesn't make a good heavy bale (the core is too soft). He is looking for a Vermeer.

We have a couple of more months to figure something out. We have enough equipment to get dry hay or chop the first cut if we need to. The one thing Dave also likes about the baleage is that we need less equipment and fewer passes in the field (less petrol used).

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