Quality is Everything

A few thoughts regarding nutrition.

It has been my experience when marketing hay locally that few people inquire about nutritional facts, they generally focus on visual and smell to evaluate quality. A good hay analysis is very important when considering a feeding program for livestock and show animals. Horse people are very discriminating when it comes to nutrition as their horses are their most valued friends. Believe me I know from experience. My wife’s horses are #1 on this ranch.

A certified hay test/forage analysis is very telling when it comes to nutrition. Nutrition matters to all discriminating livestock raisers from pet horses to dairy farmers and everywhere in between. I have provided a sample of a test I had done when participating in the Spokane Interstate Fair back in 2006. It shows a number of facts that are of interest to consumers such as protein values and total digestible nutrient percentage. The relative feed value is a collective grade given to the sample based on the data. Protein and fiber are always of particular interest to consumers. obviously the higher the relative feed value the better the quality.

Regular soil testing is very important to the producer as the continual harvesting of forage quickly depletes the available nutrients needed for producing quality hay year after year. These tests help the farmer determine fertilizer needs as well as crop rotation plans.

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