Quick Tips: Hay Management
March 10, 2012
Now is the time to make plans for getting the most from your hay as fall winds down and winter approaches. These tips can help:
1. Inventory the quantity of your hay on hand.
2. Work with your nutrition consultant to determine the quality of the hay you have.
3. Forage analysis can be useful. Testing hays for protein and energy content will help you design winter supplementation programs for your
4. Work with your nutritionist to develop a plan for your winter supplementation program, based on quality and quantity of hay and potential
changes in cow-herd size. Supplements can help stretch hay supplies.
5. Once you have a plan, look for opportunities to acquire necessary supplements. Grain markets could continue to be very volatile. Watch
these markets closely and work with suppliers to acquire what is needed at an optimum time.
6. Feed hay in small amounts or in a feeder to minimize waste.
7. If you plan to feed more than a day’s worth of feed, feeding in a rack or a hay ring can help reduce waste.
8. Feed hay in well-drained areas.
9. Rotate hay feeding locations to minimize damage to any one area of the pasture.
10. Feed hay stored outside before you feed hay that is stored inside. Outside-stored hay usually has more spoilage during storage and lower
palatability than hay that has been stored inside.