- Brookhill Angus
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For me personally, if I start to smell that caramelization smell coming forth and if I see smoke rising, I know I have screwed up royally. I had about 20 bales two years ago that did that after I baled up some really thick clover. I let it dry to for two days in high heat, but it still didn't dry down enough, and that's after using a conditioner to cut it. The hay was a complete loss to me, but an Amish guy came and bought it all for $10 a roll and said he would grind it up and feed it to milk cows. He was unfazed by the condition of it, but I didn't want to feed it out to my gals. I'm sure a tedder would have fixed that problem, but I didn't have one available at that point in time.
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125 F — No action needed
150 F — Hay is entering the danger zone. Check temperature twice daily and disassemble stacked hay bales to promote air circulation to cool the hay.
160 F — Hay has reached danger zone. Check temperature every couple hours and disassemble stacked hay.
175 F — Hot spots or fire pockets are likely. Alert fire services; stop all air movement around hay.
190 F — With fire service assistance, remove hot hay. Be aware that hay could burst into flames.
200 F or higher — With fire service assistance, remove hot hay. Most likely a fire will occur; Be aware that hay could burst into flames.