Facing Short Hay Inventory? Here’s What You Can Do

Thanks to Aaron Berger, Nebraska Extension Beef Educator and Troy Walz, Nebraska Extension Educator and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cooperative Extension for this article. You can Listen to a discussion of the content in this article on this episode of the BeefWatch podcast. You can subscribe to new episodes in iTunes or paste http://feeds.feedburner.com/unlbeefwatch into your podcast app. The abundant spring and early summer moisture we have received in Nebraska and other parts of the country has been record setting in many areas and has resulted in hay meadows and fields being inundated with water. Even if the rain stops, for many producers, these flooded hay meadows and fields will produce significantly less this year, due to the damage caused to forage stands by the standing water. This sets up a scenario where many producers may find themselves short on hay for the upcoming winter of 2019-2020. In addition, the quality of feed that is harvested may be less than “normal” as delayed cutting in waiting for fields to dry may mean forage is more mature, reducing energy and protein content of the hay. Now is the time to plan for management options with reduced forage production from perennial hay fields. 1. Reduce forage demand for the upcoming fall and winter. It is hard to believe that hay may be short with an abundant precipitation y

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