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3 Tools for Better Hay

Take haymaking to the next level with these latest tools:

Discbine mower-conditioners

New Holland’s Discbine 310 and 312 disc mower-conditioners (right) mow cleanly and maneuver quickly to speed up hay and forage making in modest-size operations, says the company. The models offer 10-foot, 4-inch and 11-foot, 6-inch cutting widths and require 82- and 87-PTO hp. tractors.

A center-pivot design lets you lay down long continuous swaths when you alternate from left to right on each pass. This improves efficiency of cutting, raking, and harvesting, and these machines work well in small or odd-shape fields.

Both models offer two conditioning systems: rubber chevron-intermeshing rolls that save leaves or the Y-tine flail system for faster drying of grass hay. These systems cover 85% of the working width.

They also feature a no-tools windrow shield and swath gate adjustments. You can spread the cut crop in a fast-drying swath, or produce a 3-foot windrow that’s ready to bale or chop.

The suggested price for a model year 2020 Discbine 310 is $36,288 and $38,438 for the Discbine 312. 

forage analysis on-the-go

John Deere has introduced an enhanced on-the-go nutrient analysis tool, called the HarvestLab 3000, that can be mounted on its self-propelled forage harvesters.

Hay or silage samples can be analyzed and geospatially referenced by field location, explains marketing manager John Mishler. You can create hayfield maps to see areas of high or low yields and nutrient quality. The data can be stored in the main data center on your harvester. 

HarvestLab 3000 uses near-infrared spectroscopy to evaluate such forage characteristics as volume, moisture, dry matter, protein, starch, neutral detergent fiber, and acid detergent fiber, explains Mishler. “It uses the same analysis technology as you would get at a commercial lab. You can even store the forage by analysis.” 

In the field, the unit offers integrated length-of-cut adjustments based on moisture ranges you preset. This ensures optimal bunker density and high-quality silage and reduced spoilage.

The HarvestLab 3000 can also be removed from the machine for tabletop use in the feed room or farm office to give year-around quality analysis as forage comes out of storage.

The cost is approximately $18,250.

Better Hay Preservative

The Ralco Agnition brand has a new dry granular product, called Anchor for Hay, to preserve higher-moisture hay and to maintain hay quality while reducing the risk of heating and spoilage. The company says it gives you greater flexibility to bale earlier in the day, later at night, and in more humid conditions, while giving more palatable bales.

Its Microbial Catalyst technology stimulates an inoculant blend and increases microbial activity of naturally occurring, beneficial bacteria in hay, explains Agnition product manager Mike Holmberg. “The organic acid rapidly reduces pH levels and prevents spoilage while targeting higher-moisture areas deep inside the bale. The technologies save more leaves and inhibit molds,” he explains. 

In a controlled study, hay treated with Anchor for Hay maintained a relative feed value 30 points greater than the control, Holmberg notes. Treated bales stay greener, and they grind easier. 

The product is available in 50-pound bags at a cost of $71.50 per bag. It is applied to hay with a Valmar 455 applicator at a rate of 2 pounds per ton. This is a cost of $2.86 per ton or $1.72 for a 1,200-pound bale.

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