Submitted to: Dairy Seminar Proceedings Western Canada
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 16, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: To maintain forage quality during harvest, rapid field drying is essential. Mechanical and chemical treatments can provide effective tools for speeding drying, but neither process can compensate for poor drying weather and/or thick dense swaths. Swath manipulation with a tedder or inverter can speed drying, but increased costs and losses caused by the operation may be greater than the average benefit received. Baling of moist hay can also reduce field curing time and harvest losses, but an effective treatment is needed to prevent excessive storage losses. The best preservation of moist hay is obtained through a low-cost drying system. Silage systems reduce harvest losses, but storage losses and quality degradation can be high. Silage inoculants and ammonia treatments can at times reduce these losses a small amount. A new mat drying process is being developed where forage is cut, shredded and pressed into a mat for very rapid field curing. The quality of the forage produced is very high, perhaps superior to that produced by any other method.