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Hay Sampling question

SRBeef

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Does anyone have a way to get a realistic hay sample from a tight, 1500 lb round bale without opening it up?

I'd like to sample two different bales and have the samples analyzed. Looking for a way to take a sample for analysis without opening them up.

Thanks. Jim
 

1982vett

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This is the one I use.

Penn State Forage Sampler
http://www.enasco.com/product/C06541N



Looking at it, you will say it will never work but it does. :nod:
 

Running Arrow Bill

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1982vett":1b9mzii3 said:
This is the one I use.

Penn State Forage Sampler
http://www.enasco.com/product/C06541N



Looking at it, you will say it will never work but it does. :nod:

We use the Penn State unit also. Does a great job! We use a 1/2" Cordless Drill to run the coring tool. Will take random samples from each load. Put samples in clean box, bag, or something. One 16-18" depth core will fill the cylinder...dump it...take next sample. Do a random sample. We take 15 to 20 cores at random from each semi-load of hay we get. Instructions are easy to follow too.
 

SRBeef

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Thank you both. I just ordered one.

Is there a particular way/place to get a good sample from a large round bale?

Do you go in from the end or radially in from the outside?

If from the end do you go about 1/2 way from center to edge or ??

Thanks again, that is just what I needed.

I've obviously not done this sampling before. But at the price of hay I want to know what I am getting. I want to see what the differences are between $50/bale hay and $75/bale hay.

Using my cattle scale to weigh a couple bales also. Figuring 3% of body weight per day should be able to come close to projecting total herd hay requirements for the winter in lb. Now want to get a handle on the quality/TDN/protein also.

Also have a better handle on how many cow days of grazing I can get from my standing corn (at least 325 cd/A)...I don't want any more surprises like last year. Jim
 

1982vett

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On round bales, take it thru the net wrap or twine and head toward the center. You get a good cross section of the bale. On squares take to from the butt end to get the maximum cross section of the bale. I believe you will get a pamplet with it that describes the best way to take the samples.
 

SRBeef

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1982vett":2stwgapi said:
On round bales, take it thru the net wrap or twine and head toward the center. You get a good cross section of the bale. On squares take to from the butt end to get the maximum cross section of the bale. I believe you will get a pamplet with it that describes the best way to take the samples.

That makes sense - thinking about how a bale is rolled you would want to go in radially to get a larger ground area sampled vs going in from the end would sample just one spot in the field.... interesting. Never thought about hay quite this much before. At the price it may be worth more thinking! Thank you. Jim
 

SRBeef

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Follow up question: when you send in a sample for lab testing do you tend to pool all samples from a load into one test or keep samples separate and test a few bales each individually? This would tell you how much variation there is from bale to bale or is it worth the trouble?
 

1982vett

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Mostly I'd take samples from 10 - 20 bales and combine them into one text. Average the load. But I can see the need to maybe test smaller lots if you buy a load and it is supposed to last the entire year. One bad bale that lasts a month could reak havoc on nutrition. You will have to use your best judgement on that.

I'd do the same when checking hay I bale. Randomly sample 20 bales for every 10 acres or so. What I am interested in is a good average for the cutting. I started testing my own hay last year when the drought hit. It was the only way to know the nutritional value of my hay. I knew what I thought it would be and it was pretty close, but without the test their was no way to know for sure. After I got the results back I knew how to feed the different types of hay. Kept me from supplementing stuff that didn't need to be supplemented.
 

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