Hay Feed Test Results ?

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Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:48 am

I partnered with an over equipped neighbor and put up a lot of hay this year. I sampled 3 lots of cool season grassy meadow hay from 3 farms that were baled over a 6 week period in early to mid summer. For DM basis:
The CP level ranged from 7.4 to 9.0%.
The RFV ranged from 78 to 82.

The first farm cut did have a little more CP, but the test results did not show much variation. Does this tell me that grassy hay feed value does not change quickly or native grasses have similar feed value or :?:
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby Jogeephus » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:08 am

I don't know but I don't see how you could really compare them since you harvested them over a six week period. IMO, the age of the forage would have a significant effect on quality so I don't know how you can really compare them. Just my opinion.
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:33 am

Grass hay doesn't have the same potential for variation as alfalfa. That is where you can really see extreme changes.
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:25 pm

Son of Butch wrote:Grass hay doesn't have the same potential for variation as alfalfa. That is where you can really see extreme changes.


We used to test alfalfa hay, but not grass. So this is a new area for me.
Seems like there is a much wider harvest window for grass.
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby TexasBred » Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:30 pm

Son of Butch wrote:Grass hay doesn't have the same potential for variation as alfalfa. That is where you can really see extreme changes.

Actually it does. You're using smaller numbers but the changes are higher percentages especially TDN in hay harvested past it's prime. BTW relative feed value is a totally irrelevant number except when dealing with alfalfa.
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:34 pm

Jogeephus wrote:I don't know but I don't see how you could really compare them since you harvested them over a six week period. IMO, the age of the forage would have a significant effect on quality so I don't know how you can really compare them.


I am sure the hay palatability changed. I am going to have a ration guy go though my test numbers and I will let you know if him picks up on something.
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:41 pm

NDF (neutral detergent fiber) relates to palatability the lower the NDF the better the cows will eat it.
NDF for hay general range 35 - 75% by type and maturity at cutting, grasses preheading under 55 headed out 60+
average good grass hay ndf 62

corn 9 ndf
ddg 44
corn silage 49
corn stalks 70
corn cobs 88
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:38 pm

Sounds like I was less than good. :? My excuse was I was waiting for the rain to end...

The three grassy hay farms tested 64, 65, and 66 % NDF - - in the order they were cut.
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby Son of Butch » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:05 am

As long as it was put up dry enough to keep it all works.
First farm cut was 9% protein 64 ndf and good hay, it reinforces the value of getting hay made in a timely manner.
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby Texasmark » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:58 am

Interesting conversation.

A lot of grass hay around here is cut semi-annually and receives no fert. I figure it's just bulk for cow bellies in the winter and TDN-CP has to come from elsewhere, syrup, cubes, blocks. With that, NDF shouldn't matter all that much.........yes? They're going to eat it because they are hungry and there's nothing else to eat, or you stimulated them with something hot and they need the bulk to cool off their tummies.......yes?

These hay patches mentioned herein, do you have any specifics on type of patch: Tended or untended?

With something like oats (I think I remember correctly) being at around 8% CP the grass is right there with sweet feed, minus the sweet so it sounds like it's good a good stand alone maintenance item........yes?
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby angus9259 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:57 am

Texasmark wrote:Interesting conversation.

A lot of grass hay around here is cut semi-annually and receives no fert. I figure it's just bulk for cow bellies in the winter and TDN-CP has to come from elsewhere, syrup, cubes, blocks. With that, NDF shouldn't matter all that much.........yes? They're going to eat it because they are hungry and there's nothing else to eat, or you stimulated them with something hot and they need the bulk to cool off their tummies.......yes?

These hay patches mentioned herein, do you have any specifics on type of patch: Tended or untended?

With something like oats (I think I remember correctly) being at around 8% CP the grass is right there with sweet feed, minus the sweet so it sounds like it's good a good stand alone maintenance item........yes?


really depends on the grass. I have some first cut that is stemmy and probably would test just "ok". But it's cheaper to feed that plus some corn and the cattle actually seem to think they're getting a deal (because they get the corn) then if they were getting some softer hay - just more work for me :). Unless it gets really ripe, it seems to me there is always some nutritive value they can derive but, yes, supplementing may be necessary.

That said, if you have dry cows in a warm climate, you may not need much if any supplement.
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby Son of Butch » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:12 am

Baled Cornstalks 70+ ndf 5% cp are cheap and plentiful in Mn. made for keeping cows ribs from clacking together.
It's always nice to have good grass hay to sell or use to limit the additional supplement needed.
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby Texasmark » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:34 am

Very enlightening. Thanks guys for the topic and discussion.

On the cornstalks, we have done and do, baled milo stalks for the same reason....I may have mentioned this before.....if so, sorry for the dupl.
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:49 am

angus9259 wrote:I have some first cut that is stemmy and probably would test just "ok". But it's cheaper to feed that plus some corn and the cattle actually seem to think they're getting a deal (because they get the corn) then if they were getting some softer hay - just more work for me :). Unless it gets really ripe, it seems to me there is always some nutritive value they can derive but, yes, supplementing may be necessary.


Every fall, there are a couple articles published that compare the cost of hay nutrients to shell corn nutrients.
Corn can cost less than hay, :nod: but the feeding labor and equipment are seldom discussed.
BTOs often put together a low cost TRM ration, but how do you effectively handle supplement like shell corn w/o a TMR?
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Re: Hay Feed Test Results ?

Postby TexasBred » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:08 pm

Texasmark wrote:Very enlightening. Thanks guys for the topic and discussion.

On the cornstalks, we have done and do, baled milo stalks for the same reason....I may have mentioned this before.....if so, sorry for the dupl.

Milo stalks can be excellent roughage. Have tested them as high as 13% crude protein. Corn stalks are usually little more than filler. A little protein but probably burn more calories eating and digesting it than they get from it.
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