Soybean hay isn't very common here. Although I read that in other parts of the country, it is. So color me stupid when Husband came home the other day and told me that they were baling the soy fields.
The heat and drought conditions have cause a bit of desperate times, not only for us raising cattle, but those in the large crop production farming. The corn is terrible, Brome and alfalfa are almost non existent, and prairie hay is sub par. Although we found square prairie hay bales for $5 a piece (they are going for up to $10) high protein fodder is getting to be a problem to find, and winter is coming.
So when Husband came home talking about the soybean hay I had to look into it. I know that 90% of soy is GMO, but sometimes you have to feed some hot dogs to your family just to make sure they survive, and that's where we are at.
From NCSU; (pdf)
Soybean silage runs 14-20 % protein, Soybean hay is high protein (averaging around 15%) and beef cattle fed soybean forage should also be fed a lower quality forage. Feed the soybean hay or silage (or pasture) as 20-30% of the ration. This will stretch the higher quality feed and balance the lower quality forage. It will also avoid problems with bloat. Bloat has been reported so use good bloat management.
If the soy hay is being sold for a lower price, we will probably jump on it.
Yesterday while Husband and I were out, I saw the soy fields. I knew they were bad, even the ones that have irrigation. But when we took a tour, I saw even more drought devastation. Some of the soy looks like it has been burnt, some just dried. few have any pods, so soy hay makes sense to help them recoup some of the lose.
Nothing seems to want to grow this year.