Re: is ESC affected by hay curing?

Nancy C

Hi KIrsten and all

Thanks for making me go back and review an area that has always puzzled me. Taken me nine years to get the concepts behind the recommendation in my head.

I don't think we can say across the board that ESC reduces with curing.  I believe that was a hypothesis once reported here, over a decade ago, but over the years research and understanding of forage physiology has come to light that shows storage forms of carbohydrates (fructan, for example) will be used to make simple sugar as the moisture is lost and the hay dries. As the fructan is converted to simple sugar, the ESC remains the same.

This quote from Dr Kellon finally hit home for me today

Lars has posted data clearly showing that hay depletes its fructan reserves during curing, while sugars change little. This makes sense since cutting/harvesting is a "stress" to the plant and as long as it retained enough moisture to mimic the live state it will strive to maintain the sugar levels necessary to life. (Mammalian bodies do the same thing.)

I believe this is the study Dr Kellon refers to

Here is a fairly long thread

This message goes to the heart of if

There may be reasons for waiting for the hay to "cure" to test it, however,  I have never done so on purpose and would be interested in reviewing why this may be needed. As I think I recall from NRCPlus, we review how to calculate mineral results from a less than 90% dry matter result.

I bring this to light in case folks are routinely waiting or perhaps assuming simple sugars will go lower with curing.

Dr Kellon, please let me know if I am off base.

Jennifer -- I believe you are saying the two #601 tests were cut at the same time and I understand your question about the differences.   Your #603 results higher that #601 are not unusual. Thanks for doing this.
Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
ECIR Group Inc. President/Treasurer  2019-2020
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