We got the Sudan baled into silage bales! This might not seem like much to most people, but for us, there has been a lot of failed experiments with this little patch of land.
We aren’t huge believers in baling our own hay for a few reasons, one is it still cost a lot, it removes the nutrients from your soil and a lot of the time people will keep their cows off the land just to grow hay. Then they roll it up and immediately start feeding the hay. We prefer to just let the cows harvest it for us.
This is a different situation however. This is 16 acres that we had cleared of trees to increase our pasture land. It is nice flat land, however when the excavator operator was pulling stumps up, the really big ones he would flip them upside down in the hole they left. This made the top soil be clay that hasn’t wanted to grow anything.
So, we have simply been trying to get something to grow on this land to try and increase organic matter. If we could go back we wouldn’t have cleared the land like we did. But we can’t go back, and can only learn from our mistakes. Which we have made a lot of on this 16 acres.
We have tried to plant perennial grasses 2x now and they haven't taken well because of the lack of good soil. We planted Sudan a couple years ago and it got ate by army worms the first round, then we sprayed it with salt water that killed the army worms. It did grow back really well, but then we were burning brush piles that fall, quite a good distance from the Sudan, but the wind got it just right and 80% of it burned that we had planned to graze.
Then the first seeding of this years Sudan didn't take and we had to reseed part of it. Then it was really touch and go on the rain front. So it has defiantly been a process to get here where we are finally getting some hay to feed our cows off this 16 acres.
Thankfully with the rain last week the Sudan is already growing back, hopefully it will grow enough we will be able to graze the cows on it this fall. And I can promise you no fires will be started on the property!
Our plan is to then feed this hay back on the pasture which will increase the organic matter and the cows will be able to recycle the nutrients back to the soil. So we aren’t totally ruining the land by baling it this time. Eventually we want this land to be a diverse rich pasture for our cows to graze, it has just be a process to get there. Well we aren't there yet, but I will keep you updated!