Weather is unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean your approach to moisture management has to be. Take note of the following tips to make the most of your bottom line this hay season:
Staying ahead of moisture
Scrambling to keep up during a wet hay season is the last situation you want to find yourself in. If you bale when your hay is too wet, you run the risk of allowing mycotoxins to develop, spoiling your harvest. However, hay that’s too dry can lead to lower nutrient levels and, ultimately, profit losses. Mastering moisture management is the key to baling high-quality, highly nutritious hay.
For these reasons, instead of letting moisture upend your operation, it pays to prepare ahead of time. There are two primary ways to do so: by investing in the right hay preservatives and applicator systems, and by drying hay properly.
Hay preservatives and applicators
Hay preservatives, when applied with the right applicator, are the best line of defense against excess moisture. Preservatives such as Case IH Thirty Plus™ make baling simpler by reducing the need to plan for uncontrollable factors — such as unpredictable weather, daylight conditions and dew levels — and increasing the amount of baling time available to you.
While it might feel like another expenditure to have to invest in a hay preservative and applicator, doing so will more than pay for itself in time. High-quality hay protected with a proper preservative offers high feed value and will benefit the health of your livestock, leading to greater returns and ultimately a stronger bottom line.
Plus, applying ThirtyPlus hay preservative allows you to harvest hay at up to 30 percent moisture without the risk of heating or spoilage. That can mean baling as much as a day earlier, helping the hay producer be more efficient while putting up a high-quality product.
Drying and monitoring tools
Beyond preservatives, you’ll want to prepare for proper hay management by getting hay tools — such as rakes and tedders — ready to go. Make sure any wheel rakes, tedders, mowers and conditioners are taken out of storage and inspected to be sure they’re in working order. While it might seem like a hassle to inspect all of your hay equipment ahead of time, doing so can prevent losses due to moisture down the line.
Other tools, such as a hand-held moisture tester, can help you keep an eye on moisture levels after the baling process is complete. An on-baler or onboard moisture tester can reduce some of the time-consuming manual work involved in moisture management.
Lastly, we all know hay management extends from cutting all the way to baling and storage. Be sure to monitor moisture through every part of the process for the best return on your investment.
Use the right tools for better hay management
When it comes to keeping your hay dry, you want to make sure you’re investing in the right equipment for the job. Case IH ThirtyPlus hay preservative is proven safe for all livestock , and allows you to bale effectively at moistures of up to 30 percent. Plus, a range of moisture testers can be ordered through your local Case IH dealership.
To learn more about the different factors that contribute to effective moisture management, talk with your local Case IH dealer.