Massey Ferguson launches web series about haymaking

Hay and Action addresses the differences and benefits of producing bales of hay and pre-dried hay, with testimonials from experts and producers

22.05.2024 | 16:02 (UTC -3)
Flavia Amarante
Photo: Disclosure
Photo: Disclosure

With a cattle herd of 234,4 million animals, divided between beef cattle and dairy production, livestock plays an important role in the Brazilian economy. Due to the constant challenges of providing high-quality food to animals, rural producers have been looking for effective methods, such as haymaking, to ensure adequate nutrition. To better understand the techniques and benefits of haymaking, Massey Ferguson, a reference in the Brazilian agricultural market, launches the web series “Hay and Action”, which can be watched on its YouTube channel.

Over the course of six episodes, the web series shares information from renowned experts, such as Thiago Bernardes, professor in the Department of Animal Science at the Federal University of Lavras (MG) and specialist in hay production and pre-dried hay, and Janaína Martuscello, specialist in forage farming and PhD professor at the Federal University of São João Del-Rei (MG), which offer a comprehensive view of the haymaking process, as well as testimonials from hay producers from different regions of the country.

Marcelo Pupin, Massey Ferguson product specialist, highlights that the search for effective haying methods contributes to the productivity and sustainability of the livestock sector in the country. “The following is growing. The demand for meat, milk and their derivatives has been increasing due to population growth. There are opportunities to optimize spaces and provide equipment that meets this demand, including animal care and food preservation,” he highlights.

In addition to haymaking, pre-drying also stands out. Each offers distinct advantages, meeting the needs of producers and the specific conditions of their properties. “Both have nutritional value and can be used for both cattle and horses. The choice depends on the animal that will receive the diet, considering the characteristics of the herd and the type of feed that will be provided”, informs Thiago Bernardes.

During the production of hay bales, the forage is mowed and left in the field for natural dehydration, which can take up to three days in the sun. This process preserves the original characteristics of the plant, resulting in food rich in nutrients, especially when harvested at an ideal maturity stage. However, dehydration in the open air can result in the loss of vitamins and minerals, highlighting the importance of proper management during the haymaking process. “The mechanization of the operation allows cutting and baling to happen more quickly, being essential to guarantee the quality of the hay, especially in regions where harvesting takes place during the rainy season”, explains Janaina Martuscello.

In Paracatu, in the interior of Minas Gerais, there is one of the largest alfalfa production areas in Brazil. Ademir Honda, owner of the farm, has followed his father's journey in alfalfa production since he was a child. When researching the subject, he realized that the big market for alfalfa was in dairy cattle and invested in mechanization and technology to guarantee the quality of the forage. “Today our cultivation area serves dairy farmers, contributing to the growth of alfalfa production in the region,” he says. 

In response to the challenges faced by producers, pre-dried bales have emerged as an efficient and fast alternative. With around 40% dry matter and 60% water, pre-dried products are produced in just one day, from cutting to baling. This method allows for more agile production, especially in regions with high rainfall or high livestock demand. In addition to the speed of production, they offer excellent conservation of plant nutrients, resulting in high quality food for animals.

Lucas Zanetti, Massey Ferguson product marketing manager, reinforces the need to take care of forage cultivation as is done in large grain crops. “The cultivation of forage for hay production and pre-drying must follow all care with cultural treatments of any other crop, using machines that increase operational performance and quality from cutting to the final product.”

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