Quick Answer: How Do I Know If My Hay Is Dry Enough To Bale?

Why do farmers cut hay at night?

Some basic plant physiology concepts drive the preference for PM-cut hay.

Plants accumulate carbohydrates in the form of sugars and starches through photosynthesis during the daylight hours.

The Western states’ research showed that they were able to hold the advantage of PM-cut hay through feeding..

How long does a round hay bale last?

about 8-10 daysOne round bale lasts about 8-10 days using our regular round bale hay net with 1.75″ holes. Without a net, a bale lasts approximately 5-6 days and half of it is wasted. Once the hay hits the ground, it gets urinated and defecated on or they use it as a bed and refuse to eat it.

How do you know when hay is dry enough to bale?

Breaking stems in half or twisting them in a circular motion to see if the stems break cleanly will give farmers the go-ahead to bale. “If all the stems break and crack that’s an indication that the hay is cured and then you can rely on the moisture test that you’re getting from the probe,” Yaremcio said.

How do you know when hay is ready to bake?

Hay that springs open and fluffs out upon release is at the right moisture concentration and is ready to be baled. If hay is too dry, wait until the humidity increases in the evening before baling.

What is the best hay moisture tester?

Best Hay Moisture Tester on the Market 2020Product NameOur RatingPriceTK100 Multfunctional Moisture Meter4.8See latest PriceAgratronix BHT-1 Baler Mounted Hay Moisture Tester4.7See latest PriceDelmhorst F2000 Hay Moisture Meter Tester4.7See latest PriceDraminski Hay & Straw High-Moisture Meter4.7See latest Price3 more rows

How do you make hay dry faster?

Another method Kaatz suggests for making hay dry faster is to use a tedder. A tedder, which works especially well with grasses, will fluff the windrow or swath and allow air to flow through it more easily. The additional air dries the hay faster, but Kaatz advises not to use a tedder on partially dried alfalfa.

What happens if cut hay gets wet?

Rain losses basically happen in two ways. One is physical damage, where the force of the rain drops can knock leaves off the stems. The other is leaching of soluble nutrients from the plant, reducing its energy value. Anderson says the only way to know if soggy hay can be used is to test it.

Does raking hay help it dry?

Raking tends to roll the wetter hay from the bottom of the swath to the outer surface of the windrow, which improves drying. Following the initial improvement, the increase in swath density can reduce drying rate, so the crop moisture content at raking is important. … In silage making, drying is a little less critical.

How do you check hay moisture before baling?

To test the moisture content of forage you’re planning to ensile or bale, use your microwave. It can take a few trials to become comfortable with the process, but it’s quick, easy, and can provide a good estimate. Other options include moisture meters and probes, which can be fast, although results can be variable.

What time of day is best to cut hay?

However, their tale would differ in that they would likely have had to stay up late at night to cut hay. That’s because in that region of the country, it is best to cut hay between dusk and about midnight in order maximize sugar content.

Can you bale hay at night?

Avoid baling when hay moisture is too low or too high to reduce leaf shatter and nutrient losses. … Drost says he generally starts baling at about 13% at night when the dew comes on, and quits in the morning at about 11 or 12% as the dew goes off.

Does hay moisture increase after baling?

When hay is baled, it should not be higher than 18 to 22 percent moisture. At higher levels of moisture, bales lose large amounts of dry matter (Figure 1) caused by excessive heating and molding (Figure 2). In severe cases, spontaneous combustion is possible.

At what temperature does hay spontaneously combust?

130 degrees FahrenheitWhen hay’s internal temperature rises above 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius), a chemical reaction begins to produce flammable gas that can ignite if the temperature goes high enough. Fire is possible in hay that’s loose, in small or large bales or stacks, and stored inside or outside.

How long does hay need to dry before baling?

about three daysIt basically takes about three days of good weather to cure hay. This can be a challenge in late May or early June. A good strategy is to mow just before or right after a rain, because of the likelihood of good weather for the next few days.

Can hay be too dry to bale?

While hay with exceptionally low moisture might not be at risk of growing mold and bacteria, that’s because much of that hay’s nutritional value is already gone. When hay is too dry before baling, the leaves of the forage become stiff and brittle, making them much more likely to fall off.

Is it OK to cut hay in the rain?

Rainfall will extend the length of time that the hay is wetter than 50% moisture, leading to more loss of sugars from respiration. Rainfall also leaches the soluble sugars from hay, he explains. … In the 1980 research, 1 inch of rain that fell soon after cutting had little negative impact on forage digestibility.

Is first or second cut hay better?

First cut hay is coarser than second cut, this is because the spring growth (rain, etc.) leads to thicker stems and stalks and heavier leaves. Second cut hay has a finer texture and usually, a greener color and heavier leaves. It is more dense, the leaves are more tender and healthier, especially in protein.

How do you check moisture in hay?

Weigh the dry hay to determine the “dry weight.” Divide the dry weight by the wet weight, and convert to a percent number. Subtract this number from 100 to get your moisture content percentage.