Minimizing soil content of forages should be the goal of every forage producer and dairy farm. This is because soil contamination of forages can add to the total ash or mineral content, which dilutes the energy and nutritive value of forages.
Weather during harvest can be the biggest challenge in putting up high-quality hay. If hay is still a bit wet but a storm is coming and you want to get it baled and stored before the rain, you might consider using inoculants and hay preservatives.
There’s a lot of pressure on custom harvesters. In a small window of time, they are rushing to get multiple clients’ forages ensiled – often across many states with a dog-tired crew by the end of the season.
It’s well known that some loss of dry matter (DM) and nutrients during the ensiling process is unavoidable. However, during the process of harvesting and ensiling, there are choices to make and management practices to utilize that may minimize those losses.