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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
slide16
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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