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Effects of a Freeze Upon Hay Quality

The Question

I would like to know if a freezing temperature on forages before it is baled effects quality and how?

My Answers

The greatest immediate quality concern about freezing temperatures upon a standing forage crop that will be harvested after the freeze is the likely loss of more leaf matter with legumes.  Also, tissues that were frozen will then lose leachable sugars rapidly with precipitation. Members of the sorghum family will release prussic acid and is a concern if the forage is grazed immediately after the freeze. Keep in mind that it is easier said than done to make a hay crop in the autumn because of length of day and temperature.

Back to Forage Issues

Keith Johnson
Professor of Agronomy and Forage Crops Specialist
1150 Lilly Hall of Life Sciences
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1150
phone: 765-494-4800
fax: 765-496-2926



For more forage information contact Dr. Keith Johnson: johnsonk@purdue.edu

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