Andrew Westfall column sig

An extremely wet spring, which led to a late first cutting, followed by a dry summer has hay and silage producers around the state questioning the quality of their crop.

It is important for these producers to have their hay and silage tested to ensure that nutritional requirements of animals are being met, and proper feed rations can be developed accordingly.

When sampling hay, it is important to get a sample that represents the entire lot of hay using a probe or core sampler. A representative sample should include a small amount from several different bales.

For example, if a lot has 20 bales, you might consider taking a sample from every fourth bale, before placing in a sealed plastic bag that is stored in a cool, dry place. Samples that contain greater than 15 percent moisture should be frozen.

Make sure the bag is properly labeled, especially if collected from different lots, with information that includes your name, address, feed type and a way for you to identify that lot.

Testing should be completed for moisture, protein and energy, and producers may consider tests for key minerals as well. When rations are developed the nutrient analysis will be used as a dry-matter basis which can then be converted to an as-is basis using the moisture content.

While this process will inevitably take time and money to complete, it may end up being a wise investment that will be critical to your livestock.

For a list of certified forage testers in the state, as well as further information on testing, visit foragetesting.org. For further information from Purdue, visit the Extension Forage website, www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/forages.

If you are in need of a hay sampler, have questions or would like to be referred to a hay or forage specialist, contact me at 219-984-5115 or awestfal@purdue.edu.

Crops Field Day reminder

One final reminder to register for the annual Crops Field Day that will take place Sept. 5 at Purdue’s Agronomy Center for Research and Education.

This field day, which is sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council, will run from 8 a.m. (registration begins at 7:30 a.m.) to 1:30 p.m.

The agenda feature a wide array of presentations from Purdue researchers and specialists on topics including: a weather update, UAVs (drones), field crop diseases, field tile and drainage, hemp production and commodity marketing as we head into harvest, among others.

The program is free to attend however we do ask that people register at bit.ly/2019CropsFieldDay.