Hay and Haylage Quick Guide 2013
Thanks to Cargill for this quick hay checklist.
- 34-37% DM checks during the day
- When alfalfa in mixed 50/50 stands are 24 inches –cut your mixed stands
- When alfalfa near the grass field is 15 inches tall – start your pure grass stands
- When alfalfa is 30 inches tall –cut your mostly alfalfa stands
- Dry matter is key.
- Merging is the end. Once merged, game over on DM – it will not dry more!
- Length and cleanliness of cut
- Keep Dirt Out. Mowing too close, or picking up dirt, causes butyric haylage – check over systems to keep dirt out.
- DM check again
- Treating: Use silage inoculants to limit chances of acetic acid when too wet, and mold, if too dry. Also helps reduce DM losses and save sugar.
- Trucks are only a tool, treat with care. You get ahead of the packer, you sit and wait.
- Packing :Thin (<6 inch) layers packed over and over. Have enough tractor(s) to match loads. Ex.: 10-ton loads coming 10 minutes apart is 60 ton per hour, need at least 48 tons of tractor. Packing at end of the day – only doing top layer.
- Drier haylage needs more packing (less water / more air).
- Safety is number one!