Our Practices

Soil Health & Fertility

Good hay comes from healthy grass, and healthy grass grows in well-managed soil. Each spring, we take soil samples from the hay fields we manage and have them tested for nutrient composition. The results give us valuable feedback on what nutrients and amendments each field needs to help the grass thrive. Instead of using a large fertilizer spreader and applying the same mix of bulk fertilizer to all of our acreage, we create specific fertility plans for each field and apply just the right mix of products to feed the soil and promote vigorous, healthy grass growth, without short-changing or over-applying nutrients to fields with unique compositions.

While there is some truth to the age-old haying adage that “fertilizer equals yield”, our goal in such careful soil management is to make our forage as nutrient-dense as possible through proper, efficient, and timely fertility applications. This helps our customers maximize their animals’ health and production during the winter, when fresh grass isn’t available for grazing.

No-Till Farming & Carbon Sequestration

Of our 40+ acres of hay fields, hardly any have seen a plow for the past half-century, or perhaps longer! The mix of grass in each field is what has thrived for decades, with most settling into an equilibrium of timothy, orchardgrass, perennial rye, fescues, clover, and other native grasses. This type of no-till grass farming works to build soil organic matter and sequester atmospheric carbon, with each cutting of hay prompting grass plants to shed excess root mass into the soil.

No Herbicides or Pesticides

Along with our no-till farming, our haying practices do not use any herbicides or pesticides. Field compositions are monitored and managed over time, with any weedy areas of new fields managed separately (either rotary mowed or baled separately for clearly-communicated, discounted feed.) The wonderful thing about grass is that it thrives under grazing disturbance (in our case, mowing) so with proper fertility management and multiple cuttings of hay, we have continually seen improved field compositions over time, allowing a natural mix of forages to thrive in each field’s micro-climate.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us – we’d love to hear from you!  Call or text any time:  413-768-9437 (Or email us at windrowfarmconway@gmail.com)

(Want to know even more about our haymaking process? Feel free to Follow us on instagram and like us on facebook!)

(We also have a Youtube Channel with comprehensive video-diaries of each season, if haying content and discussion is your cup of tea!)

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