Laboratory System for Evaluation of Hay Preservatives
- V. S. Baron ,
- A. C. Dick and
- D. G. Young
The evaluation of additives for the preservation of moist hay through field experiments is made difficult by large and variable experimental units and environmental effects. A laboratory system was developed to rapidly screen hay preservative treatments. Ovendried hay was rehydrated with water and a preservative to the desired moisture concentration. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tubes provided the storage vessel. A constant initial density (200 kg m−3) was achieved using a mechanical press. Aeration was by dausion through the open vessel top. Resistance to heat loss was provided by a fixed, polystyrene bed into which PVC tubes were inserted during a 21-d incubation at 25 °C. Temperature data handling was facilitated through the use of a mutiplexer and datalogger. Efficacy of a propionate preservative duplicated the performance of previous laboratory systems for temperature and visible mold evaluation. Forage quality parameters followed the same general response to propionate rate within moisture levels as temperature and mold evaluation. Daily temperatures in the laboratory model were comparable to conventional small square bales, but lower than in large round bales.
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