Flooded hay bales in a field.

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*This is an excerpt of Animal, Forage, and Feed Management Following a Flood Event, ANR-2536.

  • Even if hay was not submerged in water, heavy rains will likely decrease the quality of hay stored outside or on the ground.
  • Hay that is submerged by as little as 1 foot has limited usable forage remaining.
  • The amount of rotted hay, mold, and possible contaminants in flooded hay make it of little value and potentially a hazard to livestock.
  • Hay that has less than 1 foot submersion may still have some usable forage, but it should be used with caution and should be fed only to cattle.
  • For hay submerged less than 1 foot of water, feed the dry hay but do not force the cattle to consume the wet and rotting portion of the bale.
  • Hay that was flooded in storage barns should
    be removed as soon as possible to prevent hay fires. This hay will begin to heat and spontaneous combustion is a possibility.
  • Hay that is not fit for livestock should be disposed of by burning or composting it.

 

Download a PDF of Animal, Forage, and Feed Management Following a Flood Event, ANR – 2536.

 

*This is an excerpt of Animal, Forage, and Feed Management Following a Flood Event, ANR-2536.

  • Feed that farmers had on hand (including commercial feed and harvested commodities) may be covered by the ELAP program. Farmers need to document the amount and type of feed that was damaged and the type of damage that occurred.
  • Salvaging flooded feed may be possible, but it must be done quickly after a flood event. If feed is stored in bins, remove any dry feed from the top and move to a different area for later use.
  • If possible, remove wet grain from storage containers and spread out to dry in a layer no more than 6 inches deep.
  • Test flooded grains for mycotoxin load. Additional information on mycotoxin testing services can be found at the end of this document.
  • Pelleted feeds may be more difficult to salvage and will begin to degrade once wetted. It is possible to still utilize these feeds in the short-term, but monitor them closely for mold growth or rancidity.

Download a PDF of Animal, Forage, and Feed Management Following a Flood Event, ANR – 2536.

*This is an excerpt of Animal, Forage, and Feed Management Following a Flood Event, ANR-2536.

  • Flooded pastures will likely be severely affected.
  • Winter annuals that were seeded before the flood and are relatively short are unlikely to survive flooding. Larger plants may survive a short period of flooding, but extended submersion will likely kill the forage.
  • Established tall fescue fields can survive 7 to 10 days of flooding. Allow for a recovery period of
    1 to 2 weeks before allowing livestock access to these fields.
  • The ELAP program will also cover losses to pastures, but flooding will need to be documented.
  • Use an aerial map to log the time line of the flood and when waters recede as well as the number of days
    of grazing lost. Your Extension agent or other adviser can help you determine how many grazing days were lost. Grazing days are reimbursed at a rate of $0.94 per day, regardless of livestock species.

Download a PDF of Animal, Forage, and Feed Management Following a Flood Event, ANR – 2536.

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