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Can anyone help me make some awesome silage out of fava beans?

Discussion in 'Pasture, Hay, & Forages: Information & Management' started by soarwitheagles, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. Feb 16, 2017
    WildRoseBeef

    WildRoseBeef Range nerd & bovine enthusiast Moderator

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    I haven't heard that bloat is an issue with faba beans. They do contain tannins, which is why there's a lot of other experts that stress the use of low-tannin varieties for palatability issues (high tannins are not good-tasting). This is probably the basis of why faba beans may or not be eatable by animals.

    I'm not sure about large versus small, but if the large does have the tannins, but the goats still like them, then there's not much to worry about.

    One seed per square foot makes sense because faba beans do grow into big plants that take up some space compared with the space taken up by other crops. And comparatively, they take up about as much space as turnips or radishes do in a cover-crop. So not surprised to hear that. For your situation I think you can afford to go smaller than a seed per square foot, although it just depends on how many other plants (and which ones) you want to include in a cover crop mix.

    And no prob on the microwave trick. :)
     
  2. Feb 17, 2017
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    Once the dairy is done I will be able to recoup the costs plus some, at least I better. But for now it is just a tax write off. I never intended to own 40 goats when I got my first 3. :hide
     
  3. Feb 17, 2017
    OneFineAcre

    OneFineAcre Herd Master

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    I think you would be better off to make into a hay instead of silage.

    And, if you do go that route you may want to explore specific varieties developed as a forage.

    I know there are varieties of soy beans that are used for forage instead of harvesting the bean that can be cut twice.
     
  4. Feb 18, 2017
    soarwitheagles

    soarwitheagles Loving the herd life

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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts OFA! But I am curious, wouldn't the protein levels go much lower if we fully dry out the plant and the bean? Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    On a side note...we are seeing a difference with the plants this year compared to last year...last year, most of the plants began to flower in March and were ready to harvest in late April. Believe it or not, many of the plants have already begun to flower this week! The differences between last year and this year are:

    We most used seed from the plants we harvested last year!
    Much more rain, much less sun this year.

    Anyone care to guess why the early flowering?
     
  5. Feb 22, 2017
    WildRoseBeef

    WildRoseBeef Range nerd & bovine enthusiast Moderator

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    Protein levels will certainly decrease as the plants become drier.

    Not sure why the early flowering is happening, but it could be something to do with the difference in climate conditions that are forcing plants to go into flower earlier than usual.
     
  6. Mar 27, 2017
    soarwitheagles

    soarwitheagles Loving the herd life

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    Fava bean update:

    Many plants are now over 3 ft. tall. Last year, the most blossoms we saw were about 10-20 per plant. For some reason, this year the plants are showing over 60 blossoms and it appears as if they aren't even half way done blooming yet...

    So strange....so wonderful!

    Harvest should begin in about 2-3 weeks. Presently, many plants have pods already 3-4 inches long.

    I am attaching a pic of the fava beans taken 2 weeks ago...

    2.JPG
     
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  7. Mar 27, 2017
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    beautiful flowers. Do the bees like them too?
     
  8. Mar 27, 2017
    soarwitheagles

    soarwitheagles Loving the herd life

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    Hi Babs! Yes, the bees are working them literally every day!
     
  9. Apr 8, 2017
    soarwitheagles

    soarwitheagles Loving the herd life

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    UPDATE: fava beans are continuing to thrive. We are now beginning to see pods 6-8 inches long, nearly 1 inch in diameter. Harvest will begin next week.
     
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