Farmers face significant economic losses due to mould and yeast growth on cut hay. This occurs when hay lays in fields for extended periods of time before baling, or when there is a high level of moisture present at the time of baling. However, baling hay at higher moisture levels leads to less leaf shatter and field curing time, and the hay can be more digestible. Treating the hay to prevent microbial growth and decay during storage allows for baling at moisture levels above 15 percent.
FRESH CUT™ Plus from Kemin is a hay preservative that provides effective protection against mould and yeast growth with its unique blend of organic acids.
FRESH CUT™ Plus is a liquid, ensuring better spread and distribution of treatment through the hay. Its buffered formulation also reduces metal corrosion while improving worker safety.
A trial conducted in Nebraska showed that Crude Protein (CP) digestibility and Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) digestibility improved upon the treatment of 24% moisture hay with FRESH CUT Plus.
Figure 1. Impact of moisture and FRESH CUT Plus liquid application on nutritional characteristics of baled hay.
The trial also showed that hay treated with FRESH CUT Plus was more visually appealing. On a scale of 1 to 5, where one is excessively dry, and five is excessively heat damaged, the treated hay scored between 2.2 and 3.2.
To reduce heat damage, hay needs to be dried below 20 percent moisture. This is not always possible as there may be too few heat units (HU) to properly dry the crop. This data shows that adding FRESH CUT Plus to hay with a moisture content of 18 to 22 percent can add value to the crop by reducing heat damage and producing green coloured hay.
1. Kemin Internal Document 07-00076