Cattle producers may have to do some juggling with this winter's feed supply.

    "I don't think I can remember a year when I've heard so many people comment that they've had to put up hay in a tough condition, or damp, and so they're going to be looking at some mouldy issues this fall and winter as they break into their haystacks," says Dr. Paul Jefferson of the Western Beef Development Centre.

    He says the long haying season in many areas, with the frequent showers and heavy dews, made it difficult to field-dry hay down to the safe storage level of about 15 percent moisture.

    Producers will likely have to blend their hay with higher quality feed or supplements.

    "If you can limit the amount of mouldy hay to less than 40 percent of the diet then you can utilize it," he says. "Mouldy hay, because of the heat damage in the hay the protein is less available."

    He recommends having a feed analysis done, even on mouldy hay, to determine how much additional protein should be provided.

~ Monday, September 20, 2010 ~