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Controlled feeding, bale rings reduce hay loss

Agriculture.com Staff Updated: 07/09/2010 @ 9:38am

With hay in short supply in many areas, reducing waste is critical. David Davis and Chris Zumbrunnen of the University of Missouri say controlled feeding can make hay go further, since losses in excess of 70 percent can occur with unlimited access. Davis suggests putting no more than a three-day supply of hay out at once, and using bale rings to keep cows from walking on the hay. A bale ring will pay for itself quickly.

"If you value your hay at only $20 per bale and your hay waste is near 70 percent, you need to feed just nine bales to recover the cost of one $120 bale ring," he says. Zumbrunnen suggests using one ring for every twelve head to keep dominant cows from edging out smaller ones. 

Consider round bales when baling wheat straw

Round bales preserve wheat straw quality and quantity better than small square bales. That's one of the findings of a new study from the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) that sought to provide better information on the straw to grain ratio of wheat in Saskatchewan.

The study also found that if a stack is not tarped, up to 40% of the straw could be lost due to spoilage. In the study, the most effective method to preserve the straw was a well-maintained tarp over the stack and a layer of straw or other material under the stack.

Farmer invention keeps bales together for easy pick-up

Ohio hay grower Kenny Kuhns has invented a 15-bale accumulator that hitches to and pulls behind any baler. It requires no hydraulics or electronics, and operates entirely on gravity and force compression from the baler. It continuously accumulates and unloads 15 bales at a time, all on edge for pickup by a bale grabber. Production is limited, and the units are priced at $8,500. Visit www.kuhnsmfg.com or call 800/677-2802.

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