|W. P. Weiss, Department of Dairy Science, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development
Center, Wooster, and W. L. Shockey,
Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Community Development, WVU Extension Service, Preston
- Ammonia greatly improves the feeding value of low-quality forage. Crude protein content
can be increased 5 to 7 percentage units and total digestable nutrients (TDN) by 15
percentage units. Neutral detergent fiber (NDF) can decrease by 5 to 8 percentage units.
- Ammonia does not significantly improve quality of high-quality forage such as alfalfa.
- Do not ammoniate immature grasses or cereal grain hay. A potent toxin having no known
cure can be produced.
- Apply between 1% to 3 % of wet bale weight (assuming moisture content less than 20%). If
bales are wetter, use low rate of application (maximum of 1%).
- Estimate bale weight and calculate total weight of hay that will be treated per batch.
Stack the hay loosely (leaving some air space) and place a plastic, not galvanized, tank
or tube in the center of the stack.
- Run a hose from the tube to the outside of the stack.
- Seal the stack as tightly as possible with good-quality plastic; sealing the edges with
soil is a good idea.
- Multiply total bale weight by application rate (1% to 3%) and buy a tank with just that
much ammonia in it. Connect the tank to the hose and open the valve.
- The hay should remain covered 3 weeks before feeding. It is a good idea to let the bales
stand exposed to air for a few days so some of the free ammonia can escape.
- Analyze the forage before feeding so you can adjust protein and energy supplementation
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Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Director, Cooperative Extension Service, West Virginia University.