25% moisture hay

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millstreaminn
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Re: 25% moisture hay

Postby millstreaminn » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:50 am

I just put a moisture meter on my round baler so these numbers are pretty accurate, although when I was baling I wasn't believing the moisture meter. The first hay I baled averaged 24% moisture I didn't believe it was that high but I still left it on the bale wagon and parked it in the shed overnight. The following morning it was heating and sweating pretty good so I wrapped it. The next field I baled was reading 20% and I hoped I could keep it for dry hay but I knew it was too wet to stack in the barn. I left it set out for over a week and it just kept getting hotter and hotter and had a rotten smell. I finally hauled it away and used it for erosion control. I baled a bunch that read 13-14% and I stacked it away immediately. It didn't heat at all.

I'd be scared to death having hay stacked in the barn at 25% moisture. I'd really keep a close eye on it.
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Re: 25% moisture hay

Postby millstreaminn » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:54 am

NonTypicalCPA wrote:I had driven a steel rod into one of the bales last night and just checked it this morning. Warm but not hot to the touch. I’ll keep sampling bales and see if I find any hot ones. I do have two barn fans moving air so that will help.


In my old dairy barn in the mow there was a 4' x 4' duct built down the center of the barn. There was a 48" industrial fan with a 5 hp motor attached to the end. We would stack the small squares around the duct and run the fan on them for a few hours a day for a week or so to blow out any accumulated heat. Made some fine dairy hay.
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Re: 25% moisture hay

Postby Jogeephus » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:10 am

NonTypicalCPA wrote:I had driven a steel rod into one of the bales last night and just checked it this morning. Warm but not hot to the touch. I’ll keep sampling bales and see if I find any hot ones. I do have two barn fans moving air so that will help.


Are you seeing any caramalization in the centers of the bales? Sugars will sometimes caramelize and the centers will smell like chewing tobacco. Am told this really knocks the food value of the hay but the cows really seem to love it.
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NonTypicalCPA
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Re: 25% moisture hay

Postby NonTypicalCPA » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:59 pm

No carmelization. Just an occasional mold spot.
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Re: 25% moisture hay

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:43 am

snoopdog wrote:I don't believe they will catch fire now , after 3 1/2 weeks.

I missed or read over that it was 3 1/2 weeks already. The major fire danger time period has past, so should be just
how much they mold now.
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Re: 25% moisture hay

Postby chevytaHOE5674 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:13 pm

If truly at 25% moisture I would be surprised if you didnt see carmilization and serious mold inside those bales.
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Re: 25% moisture hay

Postby NonTypicalCPA » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:43 pm

I've stuck a good sample of the hay in question with a steel rod. The rod has been warm but not so much I couldn't hold it in the palm of my hand. My Belties are suppose to do well on crappy forage, so we will see. If my next cutting is good and dry, I'll switch it out with the wet stuff and put the wet stuff under tarp and feed this fall, with some grain if necessary.
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Re: 25% moisture hay

Postby chevytaHOE5674 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:29 pm

After 3.5 weeks even the hottest of bales should be cooling off by now.
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Re: 25% moisture hay

Postby Texasmark » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:01 am

NonTypicalCPA wrote:I had driven a steel rod into one of the bales last night and just checked it this morning. Warm but not hot to the touch. I’ll keep sampling bales and see if I find any hot ones. I do have two barn fans moving air so that will help.


"Warm but not hot to the touch." For a reference number, if you have a standard US market domestic hot water heater in your home and the thermostat is set to Normal, the water is 140F for a reference. For me, I can't leave my hand under the faucet running at that temp. So you can compare that to the chart supplied on this post for an idea as to where you are.

For starters, in the summer, and if the sun is shining and it's the afternoon, the hay is already at the 100F level. You roll it and that temp is trapped inside.....all it can do is to get hotter.

I too have had the wet problem forever and do string tied rolls. Always fighting "Mother Nature" (Oleo commercial years ago). I have a 12" thermometer I bought on ebay for bale monitoring for about $20. Made of SS and has a sensor diameter of about ⅛" making penetration easy.

I find that at about 2 weeks, if you have a problem you will know it. Also you can smell it if it's going bad. This spring I did up my field and thought I was good to go. Don't have a moisture tester but it was rye and although you couldn't use your thumb nail and squeeze moisture from the stems, they were still "too green and plump" even though the leaves were dry and the Austrian Peas accompanying the Rye were well dried and turning brown.

What started out looking good started stinking and showing brown discoloration around the center of the rolls at about 2 weeks sitting under a cover (loafing shed, top only) and spaced out. Didn't check the temp then so I can't say what it was but I knew I was in trouble.

Had a neighbor that had prematurely run out of hay and asked him if he wanted it since it needed to be fed now to get anything out of it. Took it over and they finished it all off the second day. Sure enough, when they got to the cores some were already brown.

I didn't like to feed moldy/mildewed hay but have fed hay with some of it, not overwhelmed with it however. Have had cows prefer 2-3 year old hay thrown in the bar ditch for erosion control to new offerings of great hay too. Never had a dead cow on the place, and don't remember having a sickly one. On a horse???????? No way.
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