How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

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NonTypicalCPA
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How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby NonTypicalCPA » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:06 pm

I'm curious for those who buy their rounds, how do you tell the quality and age of a bale? Obviously mold and dirt would be easy to spot. Past experience with the seller would also be helpful. But if you going to buy from a guy for the first time, what do you look for? I'm feeding a few bales from two summers ago and it is tough to see much difference from this spring's first cutting.
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dun
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby dun » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:14 pm

ONly way I know to tell the nutrition is to have it tested, age there ain;t no way.
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby Workinonit Farm » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:32 pm

dun wrote:ONly way I know to tell the nutrition is to have it tested, age there ain;t no way.


:nod: :nod:

Sure-fire way to check for nutritional value, test it.

As for age by how it looks, I've seen barn-stored hay (3 years) look better than 2 weeks-past-baling. Can't always tell by appearances.
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby Cucumber35 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:45 pm

Forage test is the only way to know, not hard to do. If the nutrition is good the age makes no difference. I've fed hay that sat in the barn several years and they ate it like candy over stuff cut the same year.
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby MRRherefords » Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:48 am

Cucumber35 wrote: I've fed hay that sat in the barn several years and they ate it like candy over stuff cut the same year.

Same here. Actually did it last week. They sometimes turn their noses up at the fresh stuff and go crazy over the couple year old hay.
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:42 am

Age - ask
nutrients are stable, but vitamins degrade in 6-10 months, for 2 yr old hay supplement with vitamins
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby TexasBred » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:18 am

Son of Butch wrote:Age - ask
nutrients are stable, but vitamins degrade in 6-10 months, for 2 yr old hay supplement with vitamins

Hardly !!!! Hay can lose up to 20% of it's nutrients the first year after being baled, thus the need for a current test. How hay is baled (tightness of the bale or roll), how it is stacked and stored will also affect how rapidly it loses it's nutritional value. Vitamins are minimal in hay so totally disregard them and furnish a good mineral at all times.
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby Craig Miller » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:08 pm

TexasBred wrote:
Son of Butch wrote:Age - ask
nutrients are stable, but vitamins degrade in 6-10 months, for 2 yr old hay supplement with vitamins

Hardly !!!! Hay can lose up to 20% of it's nutrients the first year after being baled, thus the need for a current test. How hay is baled (tightness of the bale or roll), how it is stacked and stored will also affect how rapidly it loses it's nutritional value. Vitamins are minimal in hay so totally disregard them and furnish a good mineral at all times.


Auburn is doing an experiment now on barn stored hay. Testing it every year. They said they think everybody will lose interest in the test before the quality drops too low. They are expecting it to last 20 years. Five years into it now.
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby TexasBred » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:34 pm

Craig Miller wrote:
TexasBred wrote:
Son of Butch wrote:Age - ask
nutrients are stable, but vitamins degrade in 6-10 months, for 2 yr old hay supplement with vitamins

Hardly !!!! Hay can lose up to 20% of it's nutrients the first year after being baled, thus the need for a current test. How hay is baled (tightness of the bale or roll), how it is stacked and stored will also affect how rapidly it loses it's nutritional value. Vitamins are minimal in hay so totally disregard them and furnish a good mineral at all times.


Auburn is doing an experiment now on barn stored hay. Testing it every year. They said they think everybody will lose interest in the test before the quality drops too low. They are expecting it to last 20 years. Five years into it now.


Here is a story about some work done by A&M Extension:

http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local ... dry-matter
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby Craig Miller » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:32 pm

TexasBred wrote:
Craig Miller wrote:
TexasBred wrote:Hardly !!!! Hay can lose up to 20% of it's nutrients the first year after being baled, thus the need for a current test. How hay is baled (tightness of the bale or roll), how it is stacked and stored will also affect how rapidly it loses it's nutritional value. Vitamins are minimal in hay so totally disregard them and furnish a good mineral at all times.


Auburn is doing an experiment now on barn stored hay. Testing it every year. They said they think everybody will lose interest in the test before the quality drops too low. They are expecting it to last 20 years. Five years into it now.


Here is a story about some work done by A&M Extension:

http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local ... dry-matter


From the article:
Research has shown that a firm round bale stored outside for one year loses 22 percent of its dry matter. When stored outside for two years, the same bale loses 25 percent of its dry matter, leaving 75 percent of its original weight for feeding. Most nutrient losses in hay bales occur in the outer portion of the bale.

Big difference between inside and outside storage. Auburn showed similar results on the hay they tested stored outside.
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:03 am

I was sloppy with my answer, I should have prefaced it with....when properly stored.
I walked past a couple of large square bales today laying out single for 2 or 3 Minnesota winters, so wet and rotted
they are nearly baled manure. Only nutrients in them will be this fall when I spread them on the field for plowing under.
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby dun » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:31 am

Son of Butch wrote:I was sloppy with my answer, I should have prefaced it with....when properly stored.
I walked past a couple of large square bales today laying out single for 2 or 3 Minnesota winters, so wet and rotted
they are nearly baled manure. Only nutrients in them will be this fall when I spread them on the field for plowing under.

Squares, large or small don;t shed water like round bales. If the round bale is set on end it gets just as funky as squares do when stored outside
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:51 am

Yeah, I used them as a wall to scoop against when mixing TMR.
Usually throw them in the mixer before they get too bad, but those 2 kind of got away from me.
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby NonTypicalCPA » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:43 pm

Great information guys, thanks! It sounds like experience in buying is the best solution for getting quality hay.
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Re: How to tell age and nutrition of round bales

Postby 1982vett » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:42 pm

After the first few months, if stored in the dry, age is mostly irrelevant. Around here, I wouldn't want to buy any hay stored outside......
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