N&H TOP LINE: Make sure hay is dry enough for storage

Storing hay with a moisture content of more than 20% could allow the growth of bacteria that release heat and cause mold formation.

The rainy weather makes harvesting and drying hay for safe storage more difficult, potentially raising the risk of barn fires, according to Purdue University extension forage specialist Keith Johnson.

Storing hay with a moisture content of more than 20% without using a preservative could allow the growth of bacteria that release heat and cause mold formation, Johnson, a professor of agronomy, said. This process increases the inner temperature of the bales, sometimes high enough to

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