Dr. Leanne Dillard, an Alabama Extension forages specialist, offers the following information on hay during times of flooding.
- Even if hay was not submerged in water, heavy rains will likely decrease quality of hay stored outside or on the ground.
- Hay that is submerged by as little as 1 ft., has little 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 ft. submersion, may still have some useable forage, but should be used with caution and should only be fed to cattle.
- For hay submerged less than 1ft., 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
- 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 compositing.
For more resources on flooding, visit the Alabama Extension website at www.aces.edu.