Make Hay While the Sun Doesn’t Shine

By Randy Rosenboom, Field Specialist

After last year’s drought, who would have thought we would struggle to put up hay this year because it’s too wet? But, here we are, and KNG has a product to help manage the situation. CULBAC may very well be one of our most overlooked products. Many producers look at hay acres as more of a hassle than anything else, but with hay prices at historical highs, getting this crop harvested as efficiently as possible is very important this year.

For a mere $2.50-3.00/ton investment, producers can go a long way towards preserving a feedstuff worth $150-300/ton. It only takes 2.5 oz of Culbac per ton of dry hay equivalent to permit timely harvest and reduce storage loss. Shown below are some data to illustrate the effectiveness of Culbac.

Moisture Level & Nutrient Density

Moisture Leaf:Stem CP
At Cutting 81% 60:40 21
At Baling 15% 42:58 13
At Baling 23% 58:42 19

While we do NOT recommend baling at 23% moisture, this shows the dramatic effect of dry down on the leaf retention of alfalfa hay. The protein difference from retained leaves alone is worth $50-60/ton in feed value.

Small Square Alfalfa Bales

High Moisture No Treatment High Moisture Culbac
Moisture at Baling 21.7% 22.8%
% Spoiled Bales 54.6% 15.8%

Large Round Alfalfa Bales

High Moisture No Treatment High Moisture Culbac
Moisture at Baling 21.3% 23.6%
% Spoiled Bales 60% 0%

New Mexico State Trial – Small Square Alfalfa Bales

High Moisture No Treatment High Moisture Culbac High Moisture Prop Acid
Moisture at Baling 20.7% 21.4% 20.8%
% Spoiled Bales 100% 0% 0%

We can see from the previous data, that Culbac greatly reduces spoilage and also stacks up very well against its competitor, propionic acid. The cost of prop acid will run from $8-10/ton of hay, so Culbac is vastly more economical. AND, if your prospect says they don’t have the equipment to apply the product, our Culbac supplier will share 50% of the cost of equipment.

One word of advice, if your customers are harvesting grass or grass-mix hay, you need to take about 5% off the maximum moisture recommendations. Grass stems are finer than alfalfa and don’t lend themselves to drying upon storage as well as alfalfa.