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 Post subject: Hay
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 8:35 am 
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Location: Bulverde
We are new to the hay selling business and we are perplexed! Our hay has had no chemicals applied to it and the soil had not been "worked" in many years until we disced and seeded it to Kleingrass and Love grass, it is a combination of those two and coastal. We are spraying the field with molasses after each cutting and feel we have a good product. But it seems that people do not care about the chemicals in the hay. Does anyone have any marketing suggestions? :?: It is depressing to see people worried about a sticker burr in the hay and not care if it is loaded with herbacides :(


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 Post subject: hay
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2003 9:52 pm 
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Location: Whitesboro,TX
You are trying to sell a product to the wrong people. You are trying to sell to sheepeople and you need to find people that can think for themselves and who are smart enough to know that the government will let them buy things that are harmfull.
You are also harvesting the wrong product. You are trying to mine your land like strip mining coal or lignite and you will destroy your land. You need healthy plants to raise healthy animals to sell to people that want to be healthy eating healthy animals. Can be cows, sheep, goats (there is a tremendous demand for goat meat and a big portion is being imported), chicken, and /or pigs.
You also planted the wrong grass for this area. Kliengrass and love grass isn't done in this area. Remember - grandaddy didn't do it so I will not do it. I didn't make the rules - I just observe the way it is done. Granddady goes to A&M to find out what to put on the land (A&M goes to map and guesses with a dart on what to put on the crops), then grandaddy doubles the fertilizers because if one ton is good then 2 tons will be better (hang the polution), and of course the only grass is coastal bermuda (I forgot that grandaddy did read an article from the county agent one time and he said it was alright to use Tifton).
Again, I suggest that you are swimming up stream. We know you have a better product, but you need to do something different.
Robert D Bard


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 4:41 pm 
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Location: Bulverde
First this is hay for cattle, and one of the good deals about this type of hay is that it keeps the protein, where the protein drops quickly in the coastal. Now I do wonder that if you were to improve the soil, would the protein levels stay up there, would that have any bearing? What we do with the land unfortunately is not our choice, we only manage it for the owner, but at least we had the choice of not using chemicals.

Right now the cows graze on native grass and they are a very healthy lot. This was the first year to make hay and the stickers are less with each cutting, as they were less with each shredding, so we are on the way to irradicating them as the soil improves.

Thanks for the reply, we are down in south Texas.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 7:49 am 
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I'm not following the help you guys gave. Are you saying that kleingrass and lovegrass will take more out of the soil than can be fertilized back in?

Here's what I've read about kleingrass
Quote:
Kleingrass is extremely attractive to cattle and wildlife as either green forage or cured hay. Because of good palatability, protect from overgrazing until the field is established. Animal performance has been above average for a warm season, perennial grass. Horses and sheep should not graze Kleingrass as health side-effects may result.
And this about lovegrass
Quote:
SAND LOVEGRASS is an important warm-season bunchgrass that grows on sandy soils of the central and southern Great Plains. SAND LOVEGRASS is a palatable and nutritious rangegrass, with a deep root system and has good drought resistance, but lacks persistance under heavy grazing.
The location is sandy semiarid South Texas. If these are the wrong product, what is the right product? Obviously there is nothing they can do about getting a different product right now. What should they do with what they have? And I don't understand why horse people would be the market when there are so few horses and so many cattle. Are you saying that horse people will spend the money on hay and cattle people won't? I see a lot of rolls of hay in cattle fields?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:46 pm 
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Yes horse people will buy organic hay. But likely only in small squares. If you have these to sell, go to organic nurseries and post ads for this.

I think in large round bales there is so much waste, cattle people are less inclined to pay a premium. It is easier for people to spend $6-$7 a square than it is to spend $50 a round.

Also, I think people growing organic cattle are very skeptical about their feed. They tend to grow their own to ensure organic.

I may be off...wouldn't be the first time.

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 Post subject: hay
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 3:29 am 
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Hose people have the notion that they are going to make money or their horses are pets. If you have enough money to afford horses then you probably don't have time or the land to grow much pasture let alone grow hay and you want the best, so you buy horse quality hay. Some will find organic, but for the most part you buy alfalfa (the best hay) and/or coastal. When you ask about coastal the brag that they use lots of chemicals so that there are no weeds and for the most part horse people buy this idea.
Cattle people work on such small margins (they get beat up by buyers at the sale barn and most them sell calve for less than the cost to produce them) they can't buy hay and they bale their own hay or they get someone with the equipment to bale their pastures on the halves or some other payment program. Most of these people don't understand organics because their Dad or Grand Dad didn't do it this way and they will not change.
As I said before, no one is going to buy Klein grass or love grass no matter how it is grown. They are not good grasses and they are hard to manage. Also Dad and Grand Dad didn't do it that way. It just isn't going to happen with organics or chemicals.
I am doing very well with Red River crab grass but I don't know how far south it can be grown. It is hard to beat common bermuda and you don't have to use chemicals. Native grasses are fine but slow growing. You get one cutting per year. No farmer can produce cows on this unless he has a lot more acres and not many cows.
All this boils down to dollars and cents, and most farmers live off cents not dollars. This why so many have to have jobs to support their cows and still survive when they loose money every year.
For the most part people can afford what ever they want, but what they want is cheap food, and that means chemicals - not organics. They want to buy big screen tv's or boats or what ever. They want to set on their bums and eat junk food and watch tv. Then they get upset when their child dies of cancer at 5 years old, or their father (etc) does at 50 from all the chemicals we are exposed to in our food, air and drinking water. Do you realize that the meat you buy in the store that has plastic on the top and styrene on the bottom causes out gassing that causes depression and/or cancer in some individuals. This doesn't include the hormones, antibiotics, chemicals from worming, pooping in the feedlot on each other, stress from standing in a feed lot in all types of weather, eating grain that is unhealthy for the cows, herbicides, plenty of chemicals from acid fertilizers, and no trace minerals caused by the chemical fertilizers. I almost forgot got about the new treatment to make you food last for months on the store shelves - radiation - brought to you by your favorite multibillion dollar store (and ag company) and your politicals - the legislators money can buy.
How many of you have contacted me, Dominion farms, and Rohobeth farms (I am sorry I can't remember everyone) and bought grass fed beef that is stress free and chemical free? Or bought pasture raised eggs or checkens, or pork?
I have gone on to long but in the grand picture Klien grass and love grass just doesn't fit in. No one likes the stuff. The real battles for us on this website is to lecture and improve the quality of life for ourselves first and the family and friends second and hope the word spreads from this base of people.
Look at what Howard has done. We need to lead from here. It seems hopeless at times but we can't let money win at our health expense. If we (collectively) don't win you are going to see alot more degenerative disease and deaths in our country in the very near future.
Robert D Bard


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 8:08 pm 
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So to sum up all the replies, the best suggestion so far is to put up an ad at organic nurseries.

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