Start Date

28-2-1985 1:45 PM

Description

Kentucky farmers harvest about 3 million tons of hay annually. In order to minimize dry matter losses and quality deterioration, hay should be baled with about 20% moisture. Unfortunately, adequate time required to field-dry hay to 20% moisture is often not available due to weather conditions. This is especially true for the first cutting of alfalfa in the spring. Many farmers are forced to choose between letting cut hay get rained on or baling hay wetter than is recommended. Hay baled with more than 20-25% moisture generally becomes moldy and undergoes a heating process which makes part of the protein unavailable to animals. At extreme levels of heating the digestibility of protein may be reduced as much as 75% and spontaneous combustion is a possibility.

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Feb 28th, 1:45 PM

Chemical Preservation of Alfalfa Hay

Kentucky farmers harvest about 3 million tons of hay annually. In order to minimize dry matter losses and quality deterioration, hay should be baled with about 20% moisture. Unfortunately, adequate time required to field-dry hay to 20% moisture is often not available due to weather conditions. This is especially true for the first cutting of alfalfa in the spring. Many farmers are forced to choose between letting cut hay get rained on or baling hay wetter than is recommended. Hay baled with more than 20-25% moisture generally becomes moldy and undergoes a heating process which makes part of the protein unavailable to animals. At extreme levels of heating the digestibility of protein may be reduced as much as 75% and spontaneous combustion is a possibility.