Alfalfa Hay Production Begins

As the year comes to a close, Elwoh Solutions is working hard to prepare a new farm for high-quality alfalfa hay production. The hay will be ready to harvest during the 2019 season, which will hopefully serve as the beginning of a hay enterprise.

Elwoh Ag Production - Alfalfa Hay Production

University of KentuckyThrough many weeks of research and discussions with forage specialists and our local extension agent at the University of Kentucky, it has been decided to move forward with the preparatory steps to establish alfalfa, with the end goal of producing small square bales of alfalfa hay for the equestrian and dairy cattle markets.

Why Alfalfa Hay?

The choice to grow alfalfa hay comes from its position as being one of the highest in nutrients among other types of hay.  It should produce a very high RFV/RFQ, and is highly sought after by dairy cattlemen and horse owners alike.

The process to maintain alfalfa is likely considered more intensive than other crops, however with multiple harvests per year, there are also more opportunities to learn from and adjust those management practices to fine-tune what is needed to bridge between what is economical, efficient, and producing the highest quality hay.

Learn more about the alfalfa hay operation at Elwoh Solutions on our main website.

Variety Selection

America's Alfalfa - Alfalfa HayFollowing a review of the variety trials and reports from the University of Kentucky on the performance of certain varieties of alfalfa, and discussions with multiple seed providers it was decided to use a newer variety marketed by America’s Alfalfa as 480 HVXRR, which boasts both Roundup Ready and HarvXtra traits.

This variety should provide excellent fall dormancy & winterhardiness in our area, while also providing a wider window for harvest, and maintain low lignin characteristics.  It will also offer great disease & pest resistance, while also providing the ability to control unwanted grass and weeds in the field throughout the production cycle.

Read more about the HarvXtra trait by Forage Genetics.

Alfalfa Hay Farm Preparation

This particular alfalfa hay crop will commence on a newly acquired property which had previously been used for cattle grazing many years ago, and most recently grass hay production.  The property does, however, have a fair amount of ideal preparation needs, such as moderate excavation and field access activity before tillage and seeding can begin, which means a substantial time crunch is realized to meet our target fall seeding date.

Alfalfa Hay Field Excavation
Excavation of field entrance for alfalfa hay.

There is quite a bit of wooded area within and surrounding the proposed tillable zones that need to be either completely cleared for field access, or cleaned to remove low hanging branches and smaller trees that obstruct the preferred field boundaries.

Culvert for Alfalfa Hay Field Access
20ft Culvert for Field Access Excavation.

The desired outcome of the excavation is to have a nearly unobstructed field border, with clear and smooth transitions to the others fields on the parcel of land.

Soil Sampling & Fertility

Producing high-quality alfalfa hay requires near perfect soil chemistry and nutrient availability at the start of seeding, and management throughout the lifecycle of the crop.  Our soil testing rendered somewhat surprising results.

Under ideal circumstances, the soil testing and incorporation of lime to adjust the soil pH would have occurred many months ago, but that isn’t the case with this crop — so perhaps additional attention will be needed during establishment.

Following direction from our local ag extension agent, we will be incorporating the following before seeding later this fall.

Lime @ 3 tons per acre
DAP 18-46-0 @ 304 lbs per acre
Potash 0-0-60 @ 483 lbs per acre
Boron @ 2 lbs per acre

More Alfalfa Hay Discussion

As the entire engagement progresses and moves forward, there will be more blog posts about the experience and outcome of the alfalfa hay, as well as commercial availability and quality testing results.

Another objective of documenting the process with these posts will be to foster a constructive discussion with other producers and agronomists to gather feedback on the methods and their implementations.

Special Multiple Mowing Operations Offer in 2018

Have multiple properties that require maintenance during the 2018 mowing season?  Perhaps you only have a single property that you want to be mowed at a regular interval?  Now is the time to work with Elwoh Solutions and save.

Mowing Operations Offer Details

Until the end of November, you can save 10% when you commit to multiple mowing operations this year with our 2018 mowing operations offer.
Schedule Your Mowing Now
When you contact us about your project, just mention this offer and it will be applied upon completion of your second mowing.

Tell Us About Your Project

Send us information about your mowing operation on the Ag Services Contact page, or give us a call at 270-908-4118 and we will be glad to assist!

If you’re unsure whether you need rough cut bush hogging services or finish mowing, read our article about the differences in Bush Hogging vs. Finish Mowing.

The Not So Fine Print

Of course, there are some limitations to the offer.

(1) Mowings must be scheduled and performed within the 2018 calendar year; (2) at least two mowings of the same or different properties must be performed; (3) all mowing operations must be billed to the same payment account.

Wildlife Habitat During Mowing Operations

Wildlife Habitat Conservation Mowing Considerations

Most everyone is familiar with the topic of mowing, as they actively mow or have some property that is contract mowed — all for various reasons, whether it be purely cosmetic, obtaining hay as feed for livestock, or part of an established maintenance plan such as controlling the growth of particular species of weeds; however, not everyone is familiar with the implications affecting the wildlife habitat during mowing operations.

There are, however, special considerations surrounding wildlife and their habitat as it relates to mowing techniques; be mindful of these during mowing operations, even if you’re not bound to a conservation program contract.

One of the most important considerations is to be aware that mowing high overgrowth during the spring and summer months could disrupt active nesting of wildlife.

Continue reading “Wildlife Habitat During Mowing Operations”

Bush Hogging vs. Finish Mowing

As a part of the changes to Elwoh Solutions in 2017, specifically to the point of diversifying service offerings to include physical property services, the introduction of large scale capable tractor bush hogging and finish mowing is now being offered.

The initial extent of the operation is of course not the largest out there, but it should be sufficient to adequately target any small, medium, or large scale mowing needs in the service area. Continue reading “Bush Hogging vs. Finish Mowing”