One of the challenges of today’s baled hay producer is leaf retention. Leaf retention drives many of the factors that determine profitability. Today’s agriculture society allows for many advanced tools for planting, growing, watering, fertilizing and harvesting to maximize gross receipts. The finer points of the harvest process are what “fine tunes” the bottom line.
One way to overcome leaf shatter during raking and baling was to bale at higher moisture levels. But, baling at higher moistures most often means baling stem moisture. Baling stem moisture puts you at risk of a stack loss and also can put you into a compromising position with buyers. Today’s buyers won’t pay for water. They especially won’t pay for a stack that has the risk of spoiling or burning.
For the last 20 years, producers have utilized Dyna-Cure Advanced Hay Conditioner as a tool for managing their crop. Applied at the windrower, Dyna-Cure goes to work on the hay in the windrow. The product is absorbed systemically while the plant continues to respire in the row several hours after cutting.
Results have shown that the raking process can be extended due to the reduction in leaf shatter so, less leaf dust behind the rakes. The baling window can be expanded due to softness of the plant product. Bale density can be largely affected by the amount of leaves captured. Without increasing the pressures on the bailer or the moisture level of the hay, you will realize higher bale densities due to the tighter compaction of dry matter in the bale. Baling valuable leaf material instead of leaving it in the field is one way for producers to help “fine-tune” their bottom line.