Click on “Download PDF” for the PDF version or on the title for the HTML version.

If you are not an ASABE member or if your employer has not arranged for access to the full-text, Click here for options.

Losses and Quality Changes During Alfalfa Hay Harvest and Storage

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASAE. 31 (2):0350-0355. (doi: 10.13031/2013.30713) @1988
Authors:   C. A. Rotz, S. M. Abrams

ABSTRACT DRY matter loss and change in quality were monitored from standing alfalfa through hay storage. Field curing loss consisted primarily of constituents other than fiber and protein and averaged 3.2% for hay dried without rain damage and 11.2% for hay with rain damage. Protein became less soluble during field curing and a small loss of protein occurred with rain damage. Raking a wide swath into a windrow caused the greatest machine loss; this loss was inversely related to crop yield. The portion of the yield lost was 3.5% for raking, 0.8% for windrow turning, 1.8% for the baler pickup and 1.1% from the baler chamber. Machine losses were similar across all quality constituents so the quality of harvested hay was not affected much by the loss. Storage loss of dry matter averaged 4.2% for dry hay (11 to 20% moisture), 7.9% for 20 to 25% moisture hay and 10.9% for hay of 25 to 34% moisture. This loss was predominantly constituents other than fiber (nonstructural carbohydrate and protein). Carbohydrate loss was proportional to the moisture content of the hay entering storage while protein loss appeared independent of hay moisture.

(Download PDF)    (Export to EndNotes)