– © Don De Beyer
Hay is quite often an important part of the ration fed to herbivores such as sheep, goats, horses and cattle. Hay is simply a dehydrated version of green forage. It is easily stored and allows the farmer to feed forage to their animals whenever they wish.
The use of hay has become a common practice on modern farms. However, the practice of collecting, drying and storing forage for periods has been going on in one version or another for hundreds of years. The current methods of harvesting hay build on past methods and enable the farmer to produce hay economically.
The first step in making hay is selecting the right plants to grow. The choices are usually a legume (mix), legume – grass mix or a grass (mix). There are many environmental factors such as soil, fertility, moisture content weather etc which that can affect the quality of the finished product. Careful selection is important.