14 November 1997

Check straws dry

WHEN buying straw be sure you are getting what you pay for. Moisture content can vary from 10 to 30%, warned dairy consultant John Hughes at the Mole Valley Farmers conference.

When starting a Milk Development Council-funded project on mastitis in straw yards, he found that bales which looked dry on the outside were wet inside. Some bales were even growing grass.

"When you are paying £40-60/t for straw, you dont want straw baled at night, or to buy water." Bales must be below 18% dry matter for bedding dairy cows. &#42