Smith Farm Supply offers Hay Sample Service.
We help producers understand the actual nutritional value of their forage. Hay actually has a feed value and forage quality affects the animals consuming it.
How does our hay sample service work?
When hay is baled we collect a minimum of 10% of the hay baled in a field, or at least 15 bales. (15 bales meets the minimum lab requirement to adequately test) Ideally, we like the collect the sample the same day it was baled and send off for testing. If same day is not available it is best to get the samples as soon as possible after baling. The sooner we get the hay to the lab the more accurate reading of moisture content they are able to get.
When the forage sample results are received an appointment is made with the producer. At this meeting our farm consultant explains the chemical composition of the sample such as crude protein, digestible energy and nitrate levels. Crude protein and digestible energy are the primary factors responsible for potential animal performance. Knowing this information will aid the producer when matching forages to their livestock’s nutritional needs.
The major factors that drive forage nutritive quality are plant species, maturity, leaf to stem ratio, the season on the year, and environmental temperature. It is the total quantity of available nutrient in the given amount of forage that is important to animals optimum performance, not the total quantity of forage.
Smith Farm Supply is happy we can make this service available to our customers. It allows us to help you ensure you are getting the most nutritional value out of the hay you are producing.
If you would like to schedule a hay sample testing please contact your Smith Farm Supply location.