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Dairy farmers urged to invest in hay

Mwaura Muthoni

Sample hay.[Photo/]

The 2017 drought has affected both the  milk supply and the earnings of the 600,000 Kenyan dairy farmers which means that there is need for more hay to maintain a constant year round supply of milk. 

In the year 2013 the Ministry of Agriculture’s sessional paper number five said that fodder for cows is approximately 70 per cent of the total expense of milk production.

Over time this has become an even greater farm cost due to climate change and inflation.

Dairy farmers are now fully dependent on rain fed fodder which leads to  fluctuating periodical milk output. In the rainy season there is more grass, but due to dry seasons there is shortage and this calls for more hay.

There has been an increase  of interest in hay equipment to meet the rising demand for hay.

For us to satisfy this demand, hay production must adopt methods to preserve the nutritional value and efficiency of storage of the bales.

Hay bales should weigh a consistent 15-23kg with a moisture content of 18-20 per cent to be safe for storage. Any more moisture content acts as a host for fungi growth which is a fire risk!

 The use of modern and appropriate equipment contributes leads to fulfillment of the desired result.

The latest Massey Ferguson balers use Centerline Technology to reduce crop losses and work at higher speeds with reduced mechanical handling which give the farmers greater productivity.

A unique feature on These balers have a unique design which is entails  the knotters which ensures the use of the organic sisal and its availability in the local market.

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