BGS Haylage Meeting Wrap

BGS Haylage Meeting Wrap

Monday, March 21, 2011

Haylage hygienic quality should come before its nutritional quality, according to haylage researcher Dr Cecilia Mueller from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. She told delegates at the BGS Making Haylage for Horses Workshop (sponsored by Ecosyl, Oliver Seeds and SilAC) that the most common hygiene problems in forages were moulds, yeasts and the growth of undesirable bacteria, all leading to loss of haylage and health problems in horses.

Mould found inside wrapped bales indicates an air leak in the film:  "Air is the number one  enemy for mould. A well wrapped bale means fewer punctures and therefore less mould," said Dr Mueller. She recommends six to eight layers of wrap but even then, pointed out that it is common with square bales to have stems sticking through, so more layers might be needed.  A poorly made bale could see half of it lost to spoilage. 

"Anything that can be done to prevent punctures is a good thing. Netting, storage on the flat end, roofing with pallets, will all help," she added. "Furthermore, feeding techniques are also important to help contamination. It is better to have feed racks in fields to lessen spoilage and improve general hygiene, but more knowledge is needed in this area."



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