Missouri, and many states to the east, have received more rain this year, making it difficult to wait until hay is dry to harvest. If you need to get hay out of the field, a Missouri Extension specialist suggests making baleage.

University of Missouri Extension Forage Specialist Rob Kallenback talked about the wet spring in Missouri and offered forage solutions for producers who aren’t able to wait at least three days for hay to dry before getting it out of the field.

In a weekly segment by the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Dr. Kallenback said producers can bale hay when it’s at about 50 percent moisture and wrap it in plastic to make baleage. The process cuts producers’ time greatly by reducing the window of dry weather needed before cutting.

In order for the baleage to work he says the hay must be baled within 24 hours and measure between 40% and 60% moisture.

Kallenback says the process provides nutritious forage for livestock and frees up acres for additional forage to grow.