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Tips for Producing Top Quality Forage

By Hubert Earl

A) In order to maximize calcium and sugar levels in stored hay and or haylage, cut between ll00 am and 4:00 p.m. when the calcium and sugar levels are highest in the plants.

B) Cutting should commence when 10% of the legumes are in blossom. This ensures about 40% to 50% blossom when harvesting is nearing completion. These guesstimates should ensure adequate levels of fibre for digestion of your livestock. (Assuming livestock are fed a mixture of early and later cut hay on a daily basis.)

C) Salting each layer of hay helps to preserve quality and makes the hay very palatable to the livestock.

D) Applying compost after cutting is recommended.

Copyright 1995 Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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