Start Date

23-2-1995 10:30 AM

Description

Field dry hay needs to be reduced from near 80% moisture to 20% or less to prevent spoilage during storage. Drying hay to safe baling moistures often takes several days. Sources of loss during forage harvest include mechanical losses such as mowing, conditioning, chopping, raking, packaging and handling as well as respiration and leaching. The general relationship between forage moisture concentration at harvest and losses during the field and storage phases is shown in Figure 1. Harvest losses are greatest for very dry forage and are low for very wet material like direct cut silage. However, the latter is subject to excessive storage losses due to seepage and to quality deterioration. Storage losses are generally minimized by harvesting at low moisture levels. Many of the losses that can occur during the haymaking process impact the leaf component much more than the stem component, especially for legume hay crops such as alfalfa, and thus damage quality even more than hay yields.

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Feb 23rd, 10:30 AM

Saving Those Valuable Leaves During Haymaking

Field dry hay needs to be reduced from near 80% moisture to 20% or less to prevent spoilage during storage. Drying hay to safe baling moistures often takes several days. Sources of loss during forage harvest include mechanical losses such as mowing, conditioning, chopping, raking, packaging and handling as well as respiration and leaching. The general relationship between forage moisture concentration at harvest and losses during the field and storage phases is shown in Figure 1. Harvest losses are greatest for very dry forage and are low for very wet material like direct cut silage. However, the latter is subject to excessive storage losses due to seepage and to quality deterioration. Storage losses are generally minimized by harvesting at low moisture levels. Many of the losses that can occur during the haymaking process impact the leaf component much more than the stem component, especially for legume hay crops such as alfalfa, and thus damage quality even more than hay yields.