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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen many posts and questions about moisture content in hay.

Knowing of the adverse weather events many of you in the US are experiencing I wondered what the effect would be on your hay apart from disastrous. Effectively I lost my entire hay crop in 2012 due to continuing though by the standards set in parts of the US this year only light showers, but the worst I had encountered in over 50 years. The result for me was a match to the windowed hay the next autumn so I could plant the 2013 crop of hay.

Hay preservatives are outside my experience so I decided to follow up on them. There may be a use for them here although it is a "dry hay" area. In 2012 they would have been worth a try rather than total loss.

The articles have some very good explanations of the outcomes from baling at different moisture levels.

I know that there are many variables from one location to another and the information here is not absolute, however I have read through many articles on this topic on the web from the US, the UK and from other States in Australia.

These articles put the issues into easily understood language and can provide a guide at least.

What happens when hay heats:

http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/agriculture-and-food/dairy/pastures-management/what-happens-t

Haystack fires:

http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/agriculture-and-food/dairy/pastures-management/haystack-fires-

Hay Preservatives:

http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/agriculture-and-food/dairy/pastures-management/what-happens-t
 

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What happens when hay heats:
http://www.depi.vic..../what-happens-t

Haystack fires:
http://www.depi.vic....haystack-fires-

Hay Preservatives:
http://www.depi.vic..../what-happens-t

When hay heats the respiration of the plant or the organisms will use up your nutrients.

Hay Stack fires, hay can become hot enough for combustion, usually if the stems are high in moisture.

Preservatives are two kinds. One is a bacteria that occupies all the locations on the hay that Mold fungus will settle and take up residence.
The other is an acid that kills the fungus before they can take up residence.

Both are a crutch. Here with large square bales many baler operators use a preservative to keep the moisture trapped in those large bales from encouraging mold.

Some basics: the stems and the leaves dry faster than the stems. But the stems take up little moisture in the night dew while the leaves become limp with the dew. The Dew is a surface moisture.

All hay moisture that is talked about is an average.
So if your stems are dry as gun powder but the leaves are limp with dew you are almost home.
The moisture on the leaves will keep the leaves limp and not shatter off, but will evaporate from the hay after baling. If you start baling as the hay reaches 17% moisture and the stems are 30% of so moisture but the leaves are 10% moisture, all the leaves will shatter off and the stems will hold their moisture in the bale. The bale will loose up to half of the material, to shattering and the stems will heat, mold, burn, &c. It is all in your management.

I have a Kin who lives in Bundalong, Victoria, but I doubt he can do you much good. When he retired he moved to Northern Victoria where the winters are not as cold. Not that far from the town of Hay in NSW.
Bruce left New York for Australia for a more relaxed life style, married and had a family in that order. Knows little of the details of agriculture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the thoughts hay wilson.

Bundalong is about 2000 miles from me and with a big lump of very arid and flat country between known as the Nullabor Plain. Nullabor translates to "no trees". Some sheep stations (ranches) on the eastern and western borders. Mostly arid area wildlife, like kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, crows, eagles, and a bunch of smaller birds reptiles and mammals. Plus feral camels.

One trip over and on the east side of the plain I suddenly came across a herd of camels next to the road it focussed my mind. In a collision, the utility truck bonnet could fit under their belly. leaving their body to come direct onto the passenger compartment.

There was a small stand of trees and scrub next to the road and their dun colour was perfect camouflage.

Australia has more feral camels than anywhere else and now number over a million. At times they are exported to Arabia to improve their genetics.

Camels were introduced as beasts of burden and we had Afghan camel drivers to manage them. Trucks did them out of a job and they were set free to roam our arid rangelands. A major pest to the stockowners in the regions.

Again I digress and have gotten away from the subject of the topic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Glad you liked the movie.

Seem to recall a recent article saying one of her camels is still around enjoying old age.

She sure traversed some arid and remote country.

Much of Australia is very sparsely populated with something like 80% of the population living within 100 miles of the coast.

We had friends visit us from Arizona a few years back.

Took them out to a relation's farm, then wheat and sheep., now only growing mostly wheat having de-stocked,. Comprising about 22,000 acres, cropping 12,000 acres and running up to 4,000 sheep.

Our friends and ourselves stayed in a spare homestead on the farm. They thought that in the morning they would visit the local roadhouse for an early morning coffee. Nearly fell over when I told them the nearest roadhouse was the one we passed last evening 100 miles away. They settled for our instant coffee.
 
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