Now that the Forages are Harvested

Maurice Eastridge, Ph.D. 
The Ohio State University 
Department of Animal Sciences 

  • Sum up the quantity of forage available on the farm (supply) and determine tons needed until next harvest season (demand) to identify if hay will need be to purchased or the rations will be to be balanced with less forage.

  • If purchases are needed, buy NOW! Price will be higher later and consider the economies of purchasing large quantities, which may necessitate neighbors purchasing loads of hay together.

  • Now is the time to consider contacting for grain and other concentrate ingredients. Minimize the risk of feed prices by contracting. Seek bids from two or more companies and make sure they are aware that competition exists for your business.

  • If possible, let silages ferment for two to four weeks before feeding.

  • Forages need to be analyzed NOW for nutrient composition. Considerable variation in composition of corn silage may occur this year across the state because of the variable rainfall.

  • Grain (moist and damaged kernels) and corn silage (relatively dry) are at high risk for mycotoxins. If mycotoxins are suspected, analyze for their presence so feeding practices can be adjusted, if necessary, before clinical symptoms are apparent.