Throughout the 20th century, hay baling equipment continued to improve. If hay is baled while too moist or becomes wet while in storage, there is a significant risk of spontaneous combustion. But hay cut too late is coarser, lower in resale value and has lost some of its nutrients. Hay must be fully dried when baled and kept dry in storage. Animals that can eat hay vary in the types of grasses suitable for consumption, the ways they consume hay, and how they digest it. The small bale remains part of overall ranch lore and tradition with "hay bucking" competitions still held for fun at many rodeos and county fairs. [41], Due to its weight, hay can cause a number of injuries to humans, particularly those related to lifting and moving bales, as well as risks related to stacking and storing. The first farmers on the prairie would cut the prairie grasses and use them to feed their livestock. Loose stacks are built to prevent accumulation of moisture and promote drying, or curing. During the growing season, which is spring and early summer in temperate climates, grass grows at a fast pace. To completely keep out moisture, outside haystacks can also be covered by tarps, and many round bales are partially wrapped in plastic as part of the baling process. After harvest, hay also has to be stored in a manner to prevent it from getting wet. Define made hay. Most of the time, seeds are still intact in a hay bale. Then, hay must be stored properly in order for it to hold onto the nutrients. The continuous hay baler arrived in 1914. Today tons of hay can be cut, conditioned, dried, raked, and baled by one person, as long as the right equipment is at hand (although that equipment is expensive). Hay is considered fully dry when it reaches 20% moisture. After hay was cut and had dried, the hay was raked or rowed up by raking it into a linear heap by hand or with a horse-drawn implement. Different animals have different nutritional requirements. Alternatively, an upper storey of a cow-shed or stable was used, with hatches in the floor to allow hay to be thrown down into hay-racks below. Rain tends to wash nutrition out of hay and can cause spoilage or mold. Wet-area farmers and those in climates with heavy snowfall can stack round bales under a shed or tarp, but can also use a light but durable plastic wrap that partially encloses bales left outside. Loose hay was taken to an area designated for storage—usually a slightly raised area for drainage—and built into a hay stack. By the 1850s, alfalfa was being grown in California. Hay can be used as animal fodder when or where there is not enough pasture or rangeland on which to graze an animal, when grazing is not feasible due to weather (such as during the winter), or when lush pasture by itself would be too rich for the health of the animal. Many hay mowers were invented in the 19th century. Methods of haymaking thus aim to minimize the shattering and falling away of the leaves during handling. Hay must dry before it can be baled. (I was born in Iowa, so I am a native Iowan. Traditionally, manure has been used on hayfields, but modern chemical fertilizers are used today as well. Grass or other plants, such as clover or alfalfa, cut and dried for fodder. Cutting hay has been, and can be, done in many ways. The forage used for haylage is cut the same as it would be for will for dry hay, the difference is in the timing of baleing. Contaminated hay can also lead to respiratory problems in horses. Sources: 1900: Van Hooten, G. H. The Iowa Yearbook of Agriculture. Sisal fibers are made of 65% cellulose, 12% Hemicellulose, 9.9% Lignin, and 2% Waxes. On some farms the loose hay was stored in a barrack, shed, or barn, normally in such a way that it would compress down and cure. Some animals are also fed concentrated feeds such as grain or vitamin supplements in addition to hay. Small bales are still produced today. In other cases, hay is a part of a crop rotation, where farmers plant different crops on the same field in different years. Modern hay production often relies on artificial fertilizer and herbicides. Hay can be soaked in water, sprinkled with water or subjected to steaming to reduce dust. Hay or grass is the foundation of the diet for all grazing animals and can provide as much as 100% of the fodder required for an animal. The first growth of these grasses in the spring can be harvested when the grass reaches a height of 14 to 18", or when there is enough growth to justify use of the harvesting equipment. One such structure is a moveable roof supported by four posts, historically called a Dutch roof, hay barrack, or hay cap. Also consider dealer support and knowledge of their products. [20], For animals that eat silage, a bale wrapper may be used to seal a round bale completely and trigger the fermentation process. Des Moines:  B. Murphy, 1901.1957: Iowa State Department of Agriculture. Straw is also made from the stems and leaves of plants, but is cut after of the plants have been allowed to mature and the seed heads have been harvested for something else. Stacking is the oldest method of storing hay, and different parts of the world stacked hay differently. However, turning the hay too often or too roughly can also cause drying leaf matter to fall off, reducing the nutrients available to animals. While small operations use a tractor to pull various implements for mowing and raking, larger operations use specialized machines such as a mower or a swather, which are designed to cut the hay and arrange it into a windrow in one step. [25] In other areas, hay is stacked loose, built around a central pole, a tree, or within an area of three or four poles to add stability to the stack. Grass Hay averages 10.8% protein and 12.9% NSC. If it rains while the hay is drying, turning the windrow can also allow it to dry faster. SHOP COLOUR CRATES HAY was founded in 2002 with the ambition to create contemporary furniture with an eye for modern living. Sheep will eat between two and four percent of their body weight per day in dry feed, such as hay,[4] and are very efficient at obtaining the most nutrition possible from three to five pounds per day of hay or other forage. Alfalfa is native to central Asia; that is where it was first found to be growing. 1957 – $123,039,000 (in 1957 era dollars), 2016 – $294,915,000 (in 2016 era dollars). Usually, a salt solution is sprayed over the top of the hay (generally alfalfa) that helps to dry the hay. Both types of animals can digest cellulose in grass and hay, but do so by different mechanisms. In some places, this is accomplished by constructing stacks with a conical or ridged top. Farmers will test the soil to determine if any fertilizers need to be added. If their type of feed is changed dramatically, or if they are fed moldy hay or hay containing toxic plants, they can become ill; colic is the leading cause of death in horses. [36] The shape causes dew and rain water roll down the sides, allowing the hay within to cure. Hayseed can be a mixture of many types of seeds, with alfalfa, clover, and timothy being among the most common. Alfalfa Hay is also higher in Calcium, with about 3 times as much as Grass Hay. Definition of make hay in the Idioms Dictionary. Straw has very little nutritional value, and is best used as bedding for animals. If hay becomes wet, or if it sits in the sun, nutrients can be lost. Then the farmer will rake the hay into what are called windrows. Round hay bales were not common until after a professor and a group of students at Iowa State University came up with a much improved design for a machine that could make round bales. The wrap repels moisture, but leaves the ends of the bale exposed so that the hay itself can "breathe" and does not begin to ferment. Thus the biggest challenge and risk for farmers in producing hay crops is the weather, especially the weather of the particular few weeks when the plants are at the best age/maturity for hay. Sickle bar mowers have a bar with teeth that cut down the hay. Straw is a stalk, usually a waste product of wheat, that's used as bedding for barnyard animals. [7] However, when horses are fed low-quality hay, they may develop an unhealthy, obese, "hay belly" due to over-consumption of "empty" calories. The large bales can also be stacked, which allows a given degree of exposed surface area to count for a larger volume of protected interior hay. [24] This no doubt contributed to the pressure for baling in large bales to increasingly replace stacking, which was happening anyway as haymaking technology (like other farm technology) continued toward extensive mechanization with one-man operation of many tasks. Alfalfa became the most common plant for hay. During the drying period, which can take several days, the process is usually sped up by turning the cut hay over with a hay rake or spreading it out with a tedder. Hay, in agriculture, dried grasses and other foliage used as animal feed. [25][38], Loose stacked hay built around a central pole, supported by side poles in Romania, A beaverslide with a full stack of hay in Montana, USA. Hay can be raked into rows as it is cut, then turned periodically to dry, particularly if a modern swather is used. [1]:194 Farmers try to harvest hay at the point when the seed heads are not quite ripe and the leaf is at its maximum when the grass is mowed in the field. 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