Photo Friday: Hay Season Fun

Nope, grass isn't supposed to be there.

Not much of a Photo Friday this week. There’s been some long hours in the hay field and a bit of time on the brushhog as well. Unfortunately this has included plenty of time with breakdowns, being covered in grease. We’ve just 1 more field to cut to finish up the first round of hay season. Usually I would say second round is only a few weeks away, but we’re drying up quick. With temps all month in the upper 90s and not even much dew or fog in the mornings, the hay pastures are not recouping from the first cutting. Here’s hoping for rain to return soon.

I had a few questions about hay season passed my way this week, so I thought I’d pass em along here.

  • Hay season in our part of the state generally starts at the end of May.
  • Cool season grasses dominate this first cutting (fescue, rye) but the warm seasons (bahia, dallis, bermuda) have started growing at the end of April as night time temps rise.
  • Removing the canopy of the Spring grasses and weeds allows the warm season grasses to kick start and really start producing.
  • The average cow herd in Arkansas is 30 head. This really doesn’t make it affordable for everyone to harvest their own hay, but many do have hay pastures they will contract out to be harvested. Many of the sizeable herds harvest all of their own hay.
  • If the hay fields are not grazed, most producers will harvest 3 rounds of hay, wrapping up late August. This allows our pastures that are grazed to accumulate forage for Fall grazing.

Have any questions about ranching and cattle production in my part of Arkansas? Send em my way and I’ll answer em next week. Have a great weekend!

About Ryan Goodman (1027 Articles)
Ryan Goodman lives in Helena, Montana, but grew up on a family cattle ranch in Arkansas. He has spent the last several years learning about farming systems across the country, living in Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming and Tennessee. He is a proud Animal Science graduate of Oklahoma State University and has completed graduate level research at the University of Tennessee, focusing on beef cattle reproduction and nutrition. Ryan works with the Montana Stockgrowers Association and does speaking events across the country centered on agriculture advocacy for farmers and ranchers. Outside of advocacy, Ryan is a novice runner, with goals of accomplishing his first Half Marathon in 2015, and enjoys refueling with a good steak. #TeamBeef!

3 Comments on Photo Friday: Hay Season Fun

  1. We are so severely dry we will have no hay for next year. Very sad year at our place…


  2. Ryan,
    I would like for you to be one of my featured farmers at
    please email me


    • Thanks. Will do.


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