MixesBlends of Hay
Types of HayGrass Hay
Questions to Ask SellerWhen was it planted?
What was the Exact Mixture Sown?
How mature was it when Mowed?
Do you have test results for this hay?
What is your fertilizer program?
Understanding What You Are BuyingOn the buyer's end...
On the Grower's End
Questions to Ask SellerHow mature was it when Mowed?
A prompt response is an honest response. Maturity when cut is 99% of the nutritional value of the hay. Over-mature hay only benefits the grower by producing more bales of low RFV hay for him to sell...at the expense of your wallet.
Alfalfa hay is Market Grade Prime (pre-bud) somewhere between 28 - 35 days since the last mowing; Market Grade 1 at 30-40 days. Nutritional value (RFV) declines rapidly with maturity - as does digestibility.
Grass hays follow the same general pattern. Different grasses mature at different rates...but all diminish in RFV as the seedheads develop. Don't be alarmed if you buy timothy hay from us that isn't full of the cat-tail like timothy seedheads - if you see these, the hay is "past its prime".
Remember, hay is not made in a factory...it is very weather dependent. So, any grower will have a range of maturities in his barns. And he should price them accodingly....not necessarily just by the cutting.