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Extension Service offers free hay testing

ByNick Roy
Adair County Extension Agent for Agriculture & Natural Resources

Forage quality drives cattle production. Good quality hay ensures cows produce adequate milk, young calves grow properly once the rumen is developed, and cows maintain adequate body condition to rebreed. Unfortunately, Kentucky weather often has other plans when we try to harvest hay in a timely fashion. Hay testing always allows us to accurately assess the quality of our hay and make supplement decisions accordingly so milk production, calf growth, and breeding are not sacrificed this winter.

All Adair County cattle producers and other livestock producers can take advantage of free hay testing services being offered by the Adair County Cooperative Extension Service. This program will be available as long as funds are available. Individuals will be limited to 5 free hay samples.

Hay samples should be collected using a hay probe that is available for farmers to borrow at the Extension office. If testing large bales, at least 10 bales should be probed to improve accuracy of the results. For small square bales, collect cores from 15-20 bales. Samples should be sealed in a Ziploc bag and labeled. Once results have returned from the lab, the results can be entered into a ration software program to determine supplementation needs for livestock during the winter or develop growing rations for young stock.

For more information, contact the Adair County Cooperative Extension Service at (270) 384-2317.

This story was posted on 2020-10-31 07:30:07
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