August 22, 2014

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Calculating Hay Supply

Lindie Huffman, County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources

The arrival of fall is an important time for livestock producers to assess their winter hay supplies. Kentucky forage and livestock producers made a lot of hay this September, and for much of the state, hay supplies should be adequate for winter feeding. However, in areas of Western Kentucky that experienced a longer, more extensive drought, some producers may have supply issues.

With the majority of this year’s hay made, now is the time to determine whether you have enough to get your animals through the winter. Determining this is not difficult. Here’s how to get a fairly accurate estimate.

1. Estimate the number of days you’ll feed hay this winter. In a normal year, Kentucky producers average 120 days (from Dec. 1 until March 31) of feeding hay. This will vary depending upon your situation. Some producers in Western Kentucky never really stopped feeding hay this year, due to the drought.