Page 13 - MWC 10-27-2022s
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The Midwest Cattleman · October 27, 2022 · P13
      Hay Quality 2022 . . . challenging!
      Hay Quality 2022 . . . challenging!                                                                        By Stan Smith, OSU Extension

         In a year like this when,          As an example of the hay  haps a better way is to com- lesser body condition, poor
      according to the National  quality we are seeing, a re- pare it to wheat straw. Book  quality colostrum, delayed
      Ag Statistics Service (NASS)  cent forage analysis on some  values I found for the feed  return to estrus, lower con-
      estimates, barely half of our  mixed grass hay that was  nutrient content of wheat  ception rates, and lighter
      first cutting hay harvest was  mowed in mid-June and  straw show a  TDN of 43%  calf weaning weights. In part
      completed by mid-June, it is  baled shortly after shows  and crude protein of 4.2% . .  this can result from cows not
      apparent that many cattle- less than 7% crude protein  . not a lot different than the  breeding on first service and/
      men will again be faced with  and less than 40% TDN (total  hay we tested. With so much  or having lower milk produc-
      finding ways to make “feed”  digestible nutrients) on a dry  of our first cutting hay being  tion than if they were on an
      from forages that were har- matter basis. I could tell you  made in late June and even  adequate nutritional plane.
      vested way past their prime.       that’s not good feed, but per- into July this year, it creates          Considering that in many
                                                                                  a challenge feed quality  regions a forage quality prob-
                                                                                  situation we have expe- lem exists again this year, it’s
                                                                                  rienced far too often in  not realistic to expect we can
                                                                                  recent years!               replace all the poor-quality
                                                                                    Feed  of  the  quality  hay that was made this year
                                                                                  referenced in the  for- with only a properly made
                                                                                  age sample analysis  second or third cutting. It
                                                                                  above and fed to cows  is apparent it will be neces-
                                                                                  as long stem hay, even  sary to find ways to efficient-
                                                                                  when offered in unlim- ly utilize the  lesser quality
                                                                                  ited amounts, simply  first cutting hay we present-
                                                                                  will not satisfy the nu- ly  have.  There are options
                                                                                  tritional requirements  available  to  accomplish  just
                                                                                  of a cow in the third  that, and time to create and
                                                                                  trimester of gestation  implement strategies that
                                                                                  or  lactation. Without  allows it without cow health
                                                                                  amendment,        feeding suffering.
                                                                                  this quality of forage
                                                                                  results in cows with                      continued on page 21
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