Charles White Hay Sales offers a variety of grass and hay for your needs: alfalfa, alfalfa/grass, grass, oat, hay, timothy, wheat and straw. Charlie is hands-on with his growers. He visits a variety of ranches six to eight times a year. Relationships are important to him. He looks at every thing on his trip assessing the quality of product to ensure he is bringing back what his clients need. It is important for Charlie to have a solid relationship with his growers and with his customers.
New deliveries come into Calistoga usually three loads a week, spring through fall. That can be up to 120 loads a year. For larger clients, Charlie likes to recommend a technique called “road-siding”. This allows the customer to save money by Charlie having his truck right at the cutting and baling. The bales are then moved directly onto his truck and transported back to Calistoga or directly to the customer. The farmer doesn’t have to hire additional equipment to move the bales and store them in a facility
Hay is typically grass, clover, alfafa which is cut and dried for use as forage. Making hay is an involved process of cutting and drying, stacking and forming bales.
Timothy grass - phleum pratense is a coarse grass with cylindrical spikes that can reach 3’ in height. It is high in fiber, especially when cut late. This is the most expensive of grass hays. There are typically two cuttings of this grass. There is a high demand for this product at race tracks and it is highly sought after in other countries.
Orchard grass - Dactylis is another forage crop. It can be served as fresh feed or as hay after harvest. A grower can typically get three to four cuttings from this grass. The second and third cuttings produce a nice soft green grass that horses love. This grass has high levels of protein and can be rich; as with all feeds, check with your vet for the right mix for your use.
Mountain Meadow or fescue - festuca is a fine-stemmed grass with two cuttings. The nutrition value is slightly lower and this is typically used as a supplement to other feed or for those who feed a lot of grain.
Alfalfa - medicago sativa, a member of the legume family, is cultivated as an important forage crop. It is similar to clover and has clusters of small purple flowers. Alfalfa is high in protein and is a highly digestible fiber. In Northern California, the growers can cut three to five times a year, while in Southern California a grower can get twice as many cuttings in a year. For horses, typically the middle cutting is the best.
WHEAT - Triticum
Wheat is an annual or biennial grass with erect flower spikes and light brown grains. While mainly used for human consumption, wheat is also planted as a forage crop and its straw can be used as bedding or to contain soil erosion.
Wheat is a tricky grain. It will vary in flavor have lots of roughage and doesn’t store well.
Straw is a by-product of harvested stalks of wheat or oats. Straw, once dried is a golden color with hollow stems used for bedding for animals because of its absorbency.
Straw should be purchased as close to the harvest as possible. There is a lot of demand for straw as it is used not only for bedding, but for construction projects, erosion control and in prevention of forest fires.
OATS - Avena Sativa
Oats make up a small part of the daily diet of horses and is fed to cattle as well. This grain should be secured early; typically within two weeks of being harvested.