BEWARE OF THE DANGERS OF HOT HAY

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Much xuất xắc has been made in Indiana the last 10 days. It is important to lớn package tuyệt at the correct moisture content to avoid excessive heating of bales when in storage. Target moisture khổng lồ begin baling xuất xắc without an effective preservative is trăng tròn percent, 18 percent & 17 percent for small rectangular bales, large round bales, and large rectangular bales, respectively. Excessive heating can result in mold formation by microorganisms, the binding of amino acids khổng lồ soluble sugars that results in reduced available protein, reduced forage quality, and the possibility of storage structure fires.

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Moldy tốt caused by microorganisms because tuyệt was made at too high a moisture content. (Photo Credit: Brooke Stefancik, Purdue ANR Educator-Sullivan County)


It is quite normal for a temperature rise lớn occur after hay is packaged, but anything greater than 125 degrees F should be intently monitored. My observation has been that giỏi producers are watchful of the possibility of “hot” hay for several days after it is put into storage. After this time, the giỏi may be assumed to be okay và not monitored again. With tốt storage structure fires, it may take three to four weeks before spontaneous combustion occurs. It is important to chú ý temperature for an extended period of time and not just for a few days.


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Hay in the foreground was removed from the hoop building because it was smoldering. (Photo Credit: Keith Johnson)


Temperature probes are available through many agricultural vendors. An online tìm kiếm will provide many resources khổng lồ consider. The probe should be strong so it can penetrate through tightly packed bales khổng lồ a length of around six feet preferred. Options for making a probe that permits thermometer insertion on a string can also be found with an online search.

The following table provides temperature values and kích hoạt steps that should be considered when xuất xắc is put into storage.

Critical temperature and kích hoạt steps for tuyệt in storage.


Hay TemperatureAction Steps
125oF or lowerNo kích hoạt needed.
150oFEntering the danger zone. kiểm tra temperature twice daily. If possible, disassemble stacked tốt to allow move air khổng lồ move around & cool heated bales.
160oFReaching the danger zone.

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check temperature every couple of hours. If possible, disassemble stacked tuyệt to allow more air to lớn move around và cool heated bales.
175oFHot spots or fire pockets are likely. Continue to check temperature frequently. If possible, stop all air movement around hay. Alert fire service of possible hay fire incident.
190oFFire is likely. Remove hot tuyệt with fire service assistance. The fire service should be prepared for the hay to burst into flames as it contacts fresh air.
200oF or higherFire is imminent. Remove hot xuất xắc with fire service assistance. The fire service should be prepared for the hay to burst into flames as it contacts fresh air.

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Source: Extinguishing Fires in Silos & Hay Mows (Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service publication NRAES-18).