“If you look at them, they look like normal hay bales, but because they’ve been heated, they’ve lost 25pc of bale weight,” Neil Griffiths says.
“What’s left has lost feed quality.
“Animals will still eat them.
“But they won’t do much good.”
While fire is the main threat from overheating hay, he says, rising temperatures can also decimate feed quality.
So a new NSW research project aims to help save individual farmers hundreds of dollars annually by ensuring baled feed retains its value.
That’s prompted pasture researcher Neil Griffiths, with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) at the CB Alexander College at Tocal, NSW, to make these comments.
He’s running a project to help farmers maintain the quality of the hay they cut by finding ways of ensuring it is kept at the right temperatures.
While last summer’s spate of hay fires had prompted the research, Mr Griffiths says the project is also examining the less obvious, but financially significant, effects of stored fodder heating up.
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