I have some bales of hay,that I got this September,the hay was nice and green when I got it,but now when I open any of the bales,they are all dusty.
What causes the hay to become dusty like that?
I bought this 50 bales from a farmer down the road,and it is stored with the hay I bought from my regular hay guy,and only these 50 bales are dusty.
I was really just curious.
Dust comes from baling the hay when it is still damp. It looks great on the outside, sometimes doesn't even have mold that we can see.
It will be fine for a couple of weeks, then the dust starts to form. Personally, I do not feed it out. I have one heavey horse, and don't want anymore!
I am going through a 30% loss of hay, I am none too pleased. Its mostly with my second cut.
I actually am calling my supplier about this, since this is just too much $$$$ to toss.
Dust doesn't come from hay being baled damp. Mold comes from damp hay.
Dust is either there from baling hay that has field dirt on it, or from sitting, baled and stored, somewhere dusty.
I would not feed hay that is "dusty" in the middle, as that's more likely mold. What does it smell like?
This makes perfect sense to me, JB, as I recently got some great first cut and opened up a flake to shake out the other day and dust came up. I took it outside into the light to examine it and see if it was mold or dust, and was perplexed because the rest of the flake was fantastic, clean, no dust. I discovered a big chuck of dirt in that flake, which is where the dust was originating from!
Dusty,moldy hay is a risk one takes when one saves money and buys hay straight from the field.
How does being stored before buying it decrease/eliminate the dust and mold issue?
I have seen what looked like wonderful hay when freshly stacked turn out to be moldy and "smokin" a month later.
That's an issue with being improperly baled, and if you've seen "wet" hay freshly baled, you'd know it. This is a matter of not knowing how to correctly pick out hay, not really a matter of buying it straight off the field or already stored. If you buy from the field, no good farmer would balk at you opening a bale or two to see how wet it feels inside.
There are always exceptions, but buying hay already stored doesn't eliminate the "surprise!" of finding that 3 weeks later you have hot hay.
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I suspect mould rather than dust. I just opened a dusty hay bale, and can smell that it is actually dust - it smells like the earth on the hay marshes. The outter layer, however was a different story - that had some mouldy rushes in it, and they stink, as does the hay that was mixed with it. Most moulds have a sour smell to them, or a musty smell, not all but most.
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JB's reply about field dirt makes the most sense for this hay,it has been stored with my other hay,and is not moldy at all just dusty.
At the price of hay today it really stinks to have to throw this out!