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Dry Forages: Process and techniques (OK-Net EcoFeed Practice Abstract)

{Tool} Dry Forages: Process and techniques (OK-Net EcoFeed Practice Abstract). Creator(s): Papi, Eugenio. Issuing Organisation(s): AIAB - Associazione Italiana Agricoltura Biologica. OK-Net EcoFeed Practice Abstract, no. 009. (2020)

[thumbnail of Dry forages: Process and techniques] PDF - English (Dry forages: Process and techniques)

Document available online at: https://orgprints.org/37881/


To obtain the best forage quality, cutting at the correct time is important, when cellulose and lignin content is not too high. During spring, cutting early is the best option to preserve forage quality; for grasses, the correct time is beginning of heading; for leguminous plants, it is beginning of blooming. However delaying cutting increases dry matter (DM) content, which speeds up the drying process. Favourable weather conditions can reduce drying costs. Making hay decreases the moisture content to 15 % and increases dry matter (DM) to 85 %. Cutting height (Figure 2) is important for a perennial crop, affecting speed and quantity of regrowth. Generally is not recommended cutting too close to the ground, because basal buds are the slowest to refill and have low vigour.
• Spreading the grass at cutting helps to decrease drying time and minimise forage quality and quantity losses. On field crushing of stems using a conditioner, increases water loss by up to 30 % and increases DM. The drying process can be completed on the field or in drying rooms, where forage quality is highest. At the end of the drying process, the hay can be baled and stored.

EPrint Type:Practice tool
What problem does the tool address?:Forage storage and quality are affected by the percentage of water contained in the plants. A high water content encourages the formation of mould and indigestible compounds from a reaction between sugar and amino acids (Maillard reaction) and brown forage. Enzyme processes can also modify forage quality due to plant respiration after cutting. A decrease in forage quality is also due to weather conditions during haymaking.
What solution does the tool offer?:To increase water loss after cutting, grass needs to be spread with an appropriate machine (tedder) to expose more surface to the sun. When moisture content is around 45-50 %, the grass is turned. Rowing the grass at night reduces surface area and water reabsorption as well as increasing soil drying (Figure 1). This helps to decrease drying time and reduce losses in forage quality and quantity.
Type of Practice Tool:Practice abstracts
Keywords:feed processing, handling of harvested feed, animal husbandry, forage
Agrovoc keywords:
animal husbandry
feed processing
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Post harvest management and techniques
Research affiliation: European Union > Horizon 2020 > OK-Net EcoFeed
European Union > Horizon 2020 > OK-Net EcoFeed > OK-Net Ecofeed Tools
Italy > AIAB
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:773911
Related Links:https://aiab.it/, https://orgprints/org/37881, https://organic-farmknowledge.org/tool/37881, https://www.facebook.com/organicfarmknowledge/photos/a.341364110046066/662061697976304, https://twitter.com/farm_knowledge/status/1255464118183694342
Project ID:ofk
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:37881
Deposited On:22 Apr 2020 11:31
Last Modified:16 Feb 2022 12:31
Document Language:English

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