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Hay Considerations. Part of the Ruminant Livestock: Facing New Economic Realities Meetings. Basics. Feed cost can account up to 75% of the cost of keeping a cow. It is generally 3x more expensive to feed an animal than to make them graze it.

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Hay considerations

Hay Considerations

Part of the Ruminant Livestock: Facing New Economic Realities Meetings


Basics
Basics

  • Feed cost can account up to 75% of the cost of keeping a cow.

  • It is generally 3x more expensive to feed an animal than to make them graze it.



Hay is cheap
Hay is Cheap?

  • Fertilizer replacement cost per ton of hay = $75.55

  • Equipment/labor cost

    Per acre

    • Mowing - $10.50

    • Tedding - $5.85

    • Raking - $5.90

      Baling (per bale)

    • Small square - $0.44

    • Large Round - $17.35

  • Land, Quality ??


Nutrient removal in hay
Nutrient Removal in Hay

Total = $75.55 per ton of hay

Prices from February 19, 2008


Defining forage quality
Defining Forage Quality

Common quality measures:

  • DM

  • ADF

  • NDF

  • CP

  • DDM

  • DMI

  • RFV

  • RFQ


Defining forage quality1
Defining Forage Quality

  • Dry Matter (DM)

    • all material that is not water

  • Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF)

    • consists of cellulose & lignin

    • does not represent the total amount of fiber in a feed

    • diets low in ADF promote health problems


  • Defining forage quality2
    Defining Forage Quality

    • Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF)

      • the best measure of total fiber

      • includes all of the structural carbohydrates

      • includes cellulose, hemicellulose & lignin

      • NDF is a good index of forage quality

        low NDF = high quality

      • NDF is the single best indicator of total fiber


    Defining forage quality3
    Defining Forage Quality

    • Crude Protein (CP)

      • is the total nitrogen in a sample x 6.25

      • is easily & accurately measured

      • CP can be used as a general indicator of forage quality

        high CP generally implies high quality

        BUT…high CP doesn’t always mean low fiber


    Defining forage quality4
    Defining Forage Quality

    • Relative Feed Value (RFV)

      • an index used to rank forages by their potential intake of digestible dry matter

      • calculated from ADF and NDF, CP content is not considered in RFV

      • is used to allocate the correct forage to animal performance, to price hay, & to assess forage management skills

      • typically, higher RFV = higher price


    Defining forage quality new method
    Defining Forage Quality(New Method)

    • Relative Forage Quality (RFQ)

      • an index to rank forages by their potential intake of Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN)

      • a better rating when comparing grasses & legumes


    Forage quality
    Forage Quality

    • The Importance of Testing & Analysis

      • forages play an important role in animal production

      • forages are a high value crop & require mgmt.

      • livestock producers require analysis for ration balancing

      • forage analysis is necessary for marketing purposes


    Sampling hay
    Sampling Hay

    • Collect one sample per lot

      • 10 to 20 small bales (one core per bale)

      • 5 to 8 large bales (4 cores per bale)

  • Hay probe

    • sharp tip

    • no greater than 3/4” and no less than 3/8”

    • 90 degree angle

    • avoid cutting leaves from stems

    • adequate sample size

    • penetrate bale at least 12”

    • never subsample, send entire sample to lab

  • RANDOM, RANDOM, RANDOM


  • Forage quality summary
    Forage Quality Summary

    • There are many tools available to measure forage quality

    • Sampling forages on a periodic basis is important

    • There is no substitution for lab analysis

    • You need to know the quality of your forages to make management decisions


    Protein, %

    High

    Medium

    Low

    Fiber & Lignin, %

    Composition, RelativeValues

    Leaves, %

    Stems, %

    Minerals, %

    Grasses Leafy Boot Heading Bloom

    Legumes Leafy Prebud Bud Bloom

    Growth Stages







    Can hay meet the cows needs
    Can hay meet the cows needs?

    • Late Bloom Orchard Grass Hay.

    • TDN – 54 %DM

    • CP – 8.4 %DM




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