As sampled versus dry matter


Forgive me if this has been addressed, I did a search and did not find it. My hay analysis (wet chemistry) gave me workable numbers in the as sampled category but too high as dry matter. Moisture is 26% and 32% respectively, so they are vastly different. Which do I use to determine whether the hay is safe to feed unsoaked? I understand the dry matter numbers make it easier to compare differing samples. Equi-Analytical recommended using the dry matter numbers. 
Carol C in NY 2021


Hi, Carol. 
Please post your hay analysis in your Case History Folder. Did you collect your sample using a hay probe?

We use "As Sampled" values to evaluate the safety of ESC and starch in hay because we feed hay in the "As Sampled" state: as is. ESC may be low enough to be safe "As Sampled" but not as "Dry Matter."  The DM values are "diluted" by the moisture content, in this case by ¼ to ⅓.

There's another very serious issue with this hay. Have you already bought it? Mold is a real threat and distinct possibility with 26 and 32% moisture content. Normal moisture content of cured hay is around 10%.

Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
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Kirsten Rasmussen

That high of moisture will be noticeable when you handle the hay.  If the bale is that damp all the way through it is a fire risk and it will certainly grow mold.  That much moisture can also occur on the outside of a bale stored outdoors in a humid climate (it will mold on the outside).  But, it could also be due to an error in sample weighing at the lab, which happened to me recently, and that will make your ESC and starch in the as sampled column will artificially low.

Kirsten and Shaku (IR + PPID) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
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