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Harvest & Storage

Forage quality doesn’t increase after harvest, so it’s critical to achieve optimal harvest and store it right to reduce loss. Let our experts tell you how.

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Testing the moisture content of hay prior to the baling process is essential to both seller and buyer. Moisture in hay is considered in three different forms – free water, physically trapped water and bound water.

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Forage producers know they must pay attention to details when focusing on forage quality. Both old and new tools can be utilized by forage quality consultants and feed nutritionists to help their clients improve forage best management practices (BMP’s). Following are some of the most common, useful tools.

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Moisture measurement of forages is important during both harvest and feeding. Inaccurate moisture measurement during hay harvest can lead to mold, excessive dry matter and quality loss, heat generation and even fire.

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When I was growing up in the ’60s, there was little choice about how to store hay.

It was virtually all stored in small square bales and much of it was stored in a barn loft.

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Improving soil and crop management can help reduce weather-related crop production risks and contributes to the sustainability of the cattle industry (Figure 1).

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I remember a conversation from about 30 years ago concerning Fairfield, Idaho, hay.

The topic was which hay growers had and used hay rakes and which did not.

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