The Importance of Moisture Control in Hay

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

Ask any farmer and they will tell you high-quality hay is a hot commodity. It is used for large farm animals such as horses, goats, cattle and other livestock. There also other small animals that benefit from the nutrients in hay. Being able to identify hay that has been maintained and produced correctly is detrimental to the health of these animals. It is important to learn the different types of hay and the part exposure to moisture play to the health of it.

Types of Hay/Quality
Forage, legume, grass and cereal grain are all different types of hay. The most popular types of hay are alfalfa and clover, which are produced in different blends. It is important to know the type of hay you have and the proper way to store it. Hay has to be stored differently when indoors and outdoors. The quality of hay varies and depends greatly on when it is harvested, toxin levels, growing conditions, moisture, and dust content.

High Levels of Moisture
If hay has been overexposed to moisture, it will spoil, and if it has been bailed it will experience heat expansion which leads to combustion which is a dangerous hazard. To determine the correct amount of moisture allowed is based on a couple of factors including; the type of hay, how it is being bailed, and size.

Low Levels of Moisture
If the moisture in hay is too low, then there is a whole different concern. Hay with extremely low moisture might not grow bacteria or mold, but that is because it probably has no more nutritional value. Dry hay loses value, nutrients and is indigestible by livestock. To find out more about how to protect and keep your hay healthy and filled with nutrients, contact us at SB Hay and Feed, we can help you.