Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: harvesting hay by hand(!) but...buttercup???  (Read 932 times)


  • Joined Sep 2016
harvesting hay by hand(!) but...buttercup???
« on: July 15, 2020, 04:10:26 pm »
Hi guys,
I have a few questions about hay baling for winter feed. Last year I scythed and baled a quarter acre paddock using a wooden box and made almost enough bales to see our 10 rare breed sheep through the winter as a trial.
This year, I'm getting ready to do it all over again but we've had a spurt of buttercup in the field, not much, about 15-20% of the field is affected. The rest of the field is a mix of rye, sweet vernal, cocks-foot etc. and we are farming organically, with next to no budget for seeding or machinery, plus we couldnt get a tractor in such a small space anyways.
I've seen a few forums saying buttercup is bad and others saying in small quantities its ok, and they cut their fields for winter feed with it in.
So, should I only bale the unaffected areas or bale the lot and mix the buttercup hay evenly so there's no accumulation in certain bales?


  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: harvesting hay by hand(!) but...buttercup???
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2020, 04:34:06 pm »
I ignore the buttercups and cut and bale with the rest of the hay.


  • Joined Sep 2016
Re: harvesting hay by hand(!) but...buttercup???
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2020, 04:56:31 pm »
Fantastic, thats a relief!
Im also thinking of gleaning some wildflower seed this summer from various hedgerows to add to the field to improve pollination and hay quality for feed next year, any particular species that would be best for this?


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: harvesting hay by hand(!) but...buttercup???
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2020, 05:26:07 pm »
Buttercups would be an indication of the soil pH dropping, as in becoming more acidic. Do you know the pH of your soil? I would maybe do a check in a few spots in the field, and if there are massive differences then maybe some application of lime in the affected areas? In such a small area you can do it by hand?


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