It's estimated that around 89% of all US farms are small family farms. Some only serve their local area and don't spread out too far.
If you are a farmer, you most likely work with a great deal of hay. If that is the case, you need to invest in a high-quality moisture tester.
Hay is a resource that is necessary for a variety of farming purposes. Farm animals rely on it for their food, and it is sometimes used for bedding.
Keep reading to find out how to choose the right hay moisture tester.
When it comes to agriculture equipment, there are certain things to consider. A moisture hay tester should be easy to use on the go.
You will need to test each hay bale, and this can take quite an amount of time. That is why you need to be able to use hay tools quickly and accurately.
It is essential to look at the length of the tester. One of the best options is the AgraTronix 20” probe-style tester from BarnDoor AG.
This is a long tester that allows you to penetrate large hay bales. You won’t have to strain as much to access the points where you need to test the moisture.
Being able to test accurately is very important for hay. The moisture may be deeper in the bale, so you need to test in those areas.
Some moisture testers also come in 10-inch designs if that is a better fit.
When you are buying farming equipment, you are investing your hard-earned money. You need to make sure you're buying from reputable sources that provide quality.
It is very easy to fall into the hole of looking for the cheapest option. But it is not going to be a worthwhile investment as it may not be durable.
You will need to use a hay moisture tester on a very regular basis. You need something durable that provides long-lasting performance.
The problem with poor-quality moisture testers is that they can become inaccurate. This can happen without you realizing it, providing false and unstable results.
Poor-quality testers are also more likely to become damaged. This can also impact the accuracy and put your hay at risk.
When you are testing hay, you are looking for certain moisture percentages. That is why you want to find a tester with the right range of measurement.
The range is the minimum and maximum moisture percentage identified. The higher the range, the less precise the device may be.
This is why it is better to look for smaller measurement ranges for better accuracy. It isn't usually necessary to have a very high range since that isn’t a significant issue.
The only reason you would want a wide range of measurements is if the tester is used elsewhere. Some farmers do this so that they can use it for things other than hay.
It is much better to buy separate moisture testers, depending on what you are testing.
How to Use Hay Moisture Tester
If you have hay, you need to make sure you are testing it for the right moisture percentage. Once you have decided on the right tester, it is time to learn how to do this.
Here is the step-by-step process of testing your hay for moisture.
Insert the Tester
It is always best to start by reading the instructions for the moisture tester. For most products, the instructions are the same, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
You need to insert the moisture tester into the hay bale and wait for a reading. This should not take very long, but it depends on the brand.
Record and Repeat
Have something with you so that you can write down the result. Some farmers choose to do this with a notepad or their cell phones.
Repeat the moisture test in several different areas across the same hay bale. Record each result and see how similar they are.
The average of all of these results will be the correct moisture content.
Why Is a Hay Moisture Tester Important?
For new farmers, there are a lot of things that may not make sense. One of these things is testing hay bales for moisture content.
Farmers do this because hay should not be too wet or dry. If it is too moist, it can develop mold, which would make it unusable.
Overly moist hay could even combust once it is in the silo. If the hay is too dry, it could start to lose its nutritional value for the farm animals.
Extremely dry hay is also a greater fire risk since it will catch fire much faster. Before you store the hay, you need to test every single hay bale.
This will ensure its safety and quality when you need it.
Choosing a Moisture Tester for Hay
If you are a farmer, you probably work with hay. Because of this, you need to find a high-quality hay moisture tester to find the right moisture percentages.
The problem with this task is that there are many testers available. This can make it hard to find the right option that is both durable and precise.
You also want to make sure you choose an option that is easy to use and has enough length for convenience.
Are you looking for the best farming equipment and hay tools? Contact us today at Barndoor AG to view our farming options.