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Forage Quality

July 13, 2009

Hey Everyone . . . welcome to my new blog. I am interested in anything and everything agriculture related, especially crops, soil, weeds, pasture, and cattle.

So for my first post . . . Baling Hay

This is a picture of the farm in western PA where i grew up. We are a small family beef and crop farm. I am now located in Central PA and miss being around to help bale hay.

Forage quality is something that can not be measured solely based on looks. The best looking hay may have the worst quality. It is economically and nutritionally important to have accurate numbers for protein, NDF, ADF, TDN, and minerals. Especially in the dairy industry where the protein value of hay is important to keep milk production up and cut back on supplement protein costs.  One can get their hay tested at many labs across the country. But the most important thing to remember when sending a sample is to make sure that it is an accurate representative of the forage being tested!! Here is a publication from PSU that talks about forage testing and sampling procedures . . . http://www.forages.psu.edu/agfacts/agfact44.pdf

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