Testing Your Hay: Why it is Important

Often those new to cattle production are quick to buy bales of hay without thinking about: where the hay was cut, which cutting the hay was cut in, what the nitrogen levels and other micro and macro nutrients the hay contains, and what percent crude protein and total digestible nutrients are.
Hay testing is an essential practice for farmers, livestock owners, and agricultural professionals to assess hay quality and nutritional value. It helps determine the appropriate feeding program for animals and ensures they receive adequate nutrients.
Hay testing can be performed by agricultural laboratories or through portable testing devices. It’s important to collect representative samples from different bales or lots to obtain accurate results. The specific tests required may vary depending on the intended use of the hay and the nutritional needs of the animals.
By testing hay, farmers and livestock owners can make informed decisions about feeding strategies, supplementing nutrients if necessary, and optimizing the health and productivity of their animals.

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