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HomePasture HealthForageForage Sampling For Haying and Grazing and Tips on Bale Size

Forage Sampling For Haying and Grazing and Tips on Bale Size

Forage sampling in a standing pasture allows us to get a feed value estimate of forages that will be fed to livestock. It’s also helpful for making sure your forage is at the best stage for cutting hay. While you can look at it, checking the color, leaf to stem content, and the stage of maturity of the forage, they’re no substitute for a feed test that can tell you exactly what you’ve got.

With that in mind, here’s Hugh Aljoe of the Noble Research Institute showing how it’s done.

Did You Know?

According to the Beef Cattle Research Council of Canada, “the size of a bale has an impact on the proportion of hay that is in the surface layer with larger bales having less exposed surface as a percentage of total feed in the bale. A 4” layer of weathered material on a six-foot diameter round bale represents 20% of the bale volume while the same 4” layer on a five-foot bale represents 25% of the volume. In high moisture conditions it is possible to have up to eight inches of spoiled hay on the outside of a round bale.”

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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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