Knowing exact bale weights is advantageous when buying or offering hay and additionally when determining on-farm inventories.

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How numerous round bales the hay will certainly your cows consume in a week? The answer will certainly vary depending upon the size and stage of manufacturing of her cows, the quality of the hay, and, most importantly, the load of the bales.

It is better to think in terms of how plenty of pounds the hay the cows will certainly consume rather of how many bales they will consume. Bale weight have the right to vary tremendously. Bale load affects not only the number of bales that must be fed but additionally the expense of feeding and also transporting them.

Round bales are described as bale broad by bale diameter, or bale height. For example, a 5 x 6 bale would certainly be 5 feet broad and 6 feet in diameter, and a 4 x 5 bale would certainly be 4 feet wide and 5 feet in diameter.

Density matters

The table reflects the impact that bale size has actually on weight by making use of a 5 × 5 bale the weighs 1,100 pounds because that comparison. If every bales had actually the same density, those of differing sizes would range in weight from 563 come 1,584 pounds.

In addition to size, bale density additionally has a significant impact on bale weight. Density, as affected by tightness of pave or bale compression, deserve to vary substantially depending ~ above operator preference and also the tools being used.

Most balers have actually a selection of settings that enable the operator to rise or minimize wrap tightness and bale compression. Also, some balers have the right to compress much more tightly than have the right to standard equipment; these varieties of balers are usually used for baling low-density forages prefer wheat straw.

Whenever possible, hay have to be bought and sold by the ton rather of the bale. The prestige of pricing hay through the ton is shown in the table.

The 5th column shows what the price every ton would be, if all bales — regardless of load — were priced in ~ $45 each. The 1,100-pound bales would expense $81.82 every ton ($45 separated by 1,100 pounds amounts to $0.04091 per pound; 2,000 pounds multiply by $0.04091 every pound amounts to $81.82 per ton). In comparison, the 880-pound bales would cost $102.27 per ton.

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Sample because that nutrients

In addition to expense per ton, likewise calculate the expense per pound of energy (for example, full digestible nutrients ) and protein. To recognize nutrient content, sample each pack or cutting of hay and also send it come a reputable lab because that testing. The many appropriate evaluation will count on forage species, plan use, and laboratory experience, therefore consult with a nutritionist for details testing recommendations.

The cost per pound of nutrient have the right to be identified with the adhering to equations:

a) 2,000 pounds multiply by percent nutrient on an as-fed basis equates to pounds of nutrient every ton

b) price per ton the hay split by pounds of nutrient every ton equals cost per lb of nutrient

For example, if a fill of hay cost $90 every ton and also contained 52.2 percent TDN on an as-fed basis, the price per pound of TDN would be $0.125 as displayed below:

a) 2,000 pounds multiplied by 52 percent TDN equates to 1,040 pounds that TDN

b) $90 divided by 1,040 pounds the TDN amounts to $0.087 per lb of TDN

These equations can be supplied to calculation the expense per unit that TDN, protein, or any kind of nutrients found in hay and other feedstuffs and also supplements.

Bale weight additionally affects how long the takes come feed and how commonly hay is placed out. Because that example, a 1,300-pound cow eating 2.5 percent the its body weight would certainly consume 32.5 pounds that hay per day. The last column in the table illustrates how many bales would be spend by 30 cows per week. Would certainly you fairly feed 5.0 or 9.1 bales per week?

Unfortunately, many locations of the U.S. Are currently abnormally dry or in a drought, and also long-term forecasts space predicting below average rainfall because that the following three to six months. Currently is a great time to advice hay reserves and also make plan if added hay is needed.

This article appeared in the January 2018 issue of Hay & Forage Grower on page 22.

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