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Hey everyone. I'm looking for some advice, as I have made my own hay for 10 years, and many years before that helping my dad, but haven't come across this before, or perhaps haven't cared too much.

This year has been tough to dry down hay without a little rain on it, especially since there has been a thick crop. I have a grass alfalfa mix field I baled up in rounds mostly at 14 to 15 percent to feed to horses. We had got some rain, and a day or two later we put two windrows together. The next day after reading, we were baling and the hay was testing 14 to 16 (or lower since my meter only reads to 14), but it seemed we had the odd slightly damp spot (by feel) in the bottom of the heavy swath. With rain coming we kept baling, even into a bit of the dew falling. I tested some bales 1-3 hours after they were baled and got many readings anywhere from 15 to 24.

So I was worried, and 3 days later, I checked temps on the bales, and never got anything about 85 F.

I have an agratronix meter, and I read that with any grass, the reading can be higher than the actual moisture too, if that helps at all.

So my questions are:

Is there a way to test these bales determine if they'll mold/dust? How do guys test these marginal moisture bales so you know how to sell them?

I understand in some parts of the country people have the hay super dry, then bale at night with 20 ish moisture and it is safe. Is that possible in this case? Since a lot of my windrow was prob 14 or lower?

If we never see a temp increase in the bales, does this mean they won't mold or dust? Or can this happen with lower internal bale temps also.


Thanks for your help!
 
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