Knowing exact bale weights is helpful when buying or offering hay and likewise when identify on-farm inventories.

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How plenty of round bales that hay will your cows consume in a week? The answer will certainly vary relying on the size and stage of production of your cows, the top quality of the hay, and, many importantly, the load of the bales.

It is better to think in terms of how countless pounds of hay the cows will consume instead of how numerous bales they will certainly consume. Bale weight have the right to vary tremendously. Bale load affects not only the variety of bales that must be fed but also the cost of feeding and transporting them.

Round bales are described as bale broad by bale diameter, or bale height. Because that example, a 5 x 6 bale would certainly be 5 feet broad and 6 feet in diameter, and also a 4 x 5 bale would certainly be 4 feet wide and 5 feet in diameter.

Density matters

The table mirrors the effect that bale size has actually on load by utilizing a 5 × 5 bale that weighs 1,100 pounds for comparison. If every bales had actually the exact same density, those of varying sizes would range in load from 563 come 1,584 pounds.

In addition to size, bale density additionally has a major impact ~ above bale weight. Density, as influenced by tightness of plunder or bale compression, can vary substantially depending top top operator preference and the tools being used.

Most balers have actually a selection of settings that allow the operator to boost or alleviate wrap tightness and also bale compression. Also, part balers deserve to compress more tightly than can standard equipment; these types of balers are normally used because that baling low-density forages choose wheat straw.

Whenever possible, hay should be bought and sold by the ton rather of the bale. The prestige of pricing hay through the ton is portrayed in the table.

The fifth column mirrors what the price per ton would be, if all bales — regardless of load — were priced at $45 each. The 1,100-pound bales would price $81.82 every ton ($45 split by 1,100 pounds equates to $0.04091 per pound; 2,000 pounds multiply by $0.04091 per pound equates to $81.82 every ton). In comparison, the 880-pound bales would cost $102.27 per ton.

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Sample for nutrients

In enhancement to expense per ton, likewise calculate the expense per lb of power (for example, full digestible nutrient ) and also protein. To recognize nutrient content, sample each fill or cutting of hay and send it come a trustworthy lab for testing. The most appropriate evaluation will count on forage species, intended use, and also laboratory experience, therefore consult v a nutritionist for specific testing recommendations.

The price per pound of nutrient can be established with the following equations:

a) 2,000 pounds multiply by percent nutrient on an as-fed basis equates to pounds of nutrient every ton

b) price per ton the hay divided by pounds of nutrient every ton equals price per lb of nutrient

For example, if a fill of hay expense $90 every ton and contained 52.2 percent TDN on an as-fed basis, the cost per lb of TDN would certainly be $0.125 as presented below:

a) 2,000 pounds multiplied by 52 percent TDN equals 1,040 pounds that TDN

b) $90 split by 1,040 pounds of TDN equals $0.087 per pound of TDN

These equations have the right to be used to calculation the expense per unit that TDN, protein, or any nutrients discovered in hay as well as other feedstuffs and also supplements.

Bale weight likewise affects exactly how long it takes to feed and how typically hay is put out. For example, a 1,300-pound cow eat 2.5 percent of its body weight would certainly consume 32.5 pounds of hay every day. The last column in the table illustrates how plenty of bales would be spend by 30 cows per week. Would you fairly feed 5.0 or 9.1 bales every week?

Unfortunately, many areas of the U.S. Are currently abnormally dried or in a drought, and long-term forecasts are predicting below average rainfall for the next three to six months. Currently is a an excellent time to evaluate hay reserves and make plan if additional hay is needed.

This article showed up in the January 2018 concern of Hay & Forage Grower on web page 22.

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