Bale Grazing, 2015-2016 Winter Edition

This year I reduced my bale spacing to 30 feet versus 40 feet in past years.  We’ll see if this is too close.  But it allows me to feed at a lot higher density (96 bales in this little field versus 54 in the same space).

Why did I originally go with 40 foot spacing?  Because I learned how to do bale grazing on the internet.  And for whatever reason almost everyone on the internet is kinda stuck on the 40 foot number.  For example, the 40 foot spacing is recommended here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.  You get the point…  I have the feeling that someone originally mentioned that he placed bales at 40 foot centers and somehow that became prescriptive.  See how rebellious we are at Wrong Direction Farm?  We’ll watch what happens this winter and learn some lessons for next year.

I located the bales by pacing the distances, ten steps between each one gets me close to 30 feet.  You can see in the diagonal view that some of the rows started drifting a little.  (Dr. Fleischman, this is for you:  Advance apologies because I know this inexact layout would never be tolerated by rigorous German farmers.)

For whatever it is worth, I like looking at the mostly  orderly symmetry of the bale layout in the field.  The cattle show no signs of appreciating the aesthetics I’ve worked into this project.

1 thought on “Bale Grazing, 2015-2016 Winter Edition”

  1. Huh. I never bothered to look up the ‘right’ spacing for bales. I will have to measure now. I am pretty sure I’ve put some 30′ (or less) apart. I like to spread the reject hay with a pitchfork once the cattle get a new bale, not that I always manage to do so. The quality of the hay makes a big difference in how tightly I can space the bales. Good quality hay I can put the bales near one another since the cows will eat almost all of it. Poor stuff, like I’m feeding now, I need to leave much larger spaces so I have room to toss the detritus around.

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