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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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The following article was submitted to Progressive Forage Grower from Damon Carson, who offers innovative ideas on reusing what some may consider to be "junk" materials. Look for future articles from this author, and be sure to submit your own repurpose ideas to .

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Early last winter, I visited a Michigan dairy farm that was having problems with its corn silage. In looking at the silage it was immediately obvious that it was poorly processed; in every handful there were obvious whole or barely cracked kernels.

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Hay is one of the most versatile of stored forages in that it can be kept for long periods of time with little loss of nutrients if protected from weather; a large number of crops can be successfully used for hay production; it can be produced and fed in small or large amounts; it can be harvested, stored and fed by hand or the production and feeding can be completely mechanized; and hay can supply most nutrients needed by many classes of livestock.

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High-quality forage is recognized as an important requirement for maintaining maximum production of cattle, particularly in dairy production.

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When harvesting baled hay, it’s not always easy to control weather- related losses, but storage losses should be more controllable.

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Do you equate shattered leaves, hay baled too wet, silos in poor condition or rain-damaged hay to reduced profit? You should.

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