JOPLIN, MO – With all the rain we endured in May, farmers are just now able to start cutting their hay.
“Rains caused a lot of issues this spring, and so you’ve got to allow for forge quality to be ideal. Not only does the plant need to be a little bit younger, but you have to give it time to cure.” Says Tammy Bartholomew, Director of the newly formed Show Me AG Youth Academy.
But with cutting the hay later, the intake isn’t as much.
“By cutting it late, we also, it’s more mature, and when it’s more mature it has more fiber in it so we also effect the intake of that hay, we reduce the intake of it as well.” Says Patrick Davis, MU Extension Livestock Specialist.
That’s why Bartholomew says it’s wise that farmers take extra precautions when getting their hay ready to cut.
“One of the things the farm did here was that they put up a baleage, and so they were able to take the already mature forage and harvest it at a higher percent moisture rate and so that allows that to hang onto the leaf just a little bit longer so that you’re able to retain as much of that protein as possible.” Says Bartholomew.
By doing this, it helps the livestock with the proper protein needed, thus ultimately benefiting the consumer at the end.
“The meat, the muscles, those kind of things are developing properly, we’re getting proper amount of marbling into those cattle, fat cover those kinds of things, that’s going to lead to a product that consumers are gonna want.” Says Davis.