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Agricultural and Equestrian Services in East Sussex

AgriQuest Services...
Small Haylage
Round Haylage
Hedge Laying
Hedge Cutting & Planting
Paddock Maintenance
Muck Removal/Spreading
Stable Bases/Concreting
Riding Arenas


We supply quality hay in either conventional small squares or 4’ rounds. We can provide a contracting service for own crop hay making, part or whole job, to suit your requirements.

Hay in Sussex

There are two main factors that ensure a good crop of hay:

Factor 1

Grass should be cut at the right time and correct growth stage. As grass gets older its yield decreases and its moisture content falls. This may be seen as a good thing but the energy levels of the feed and its digestibility are crucial. Making a very heavy crop will not be effective if the animals will not eat it! Instead it is better to maximize the quality of the grass by cutting when its digestibility and energy levels are maximized. It is essential to cut before the seed heads appear. As the sign of a seed head indicates that the feed quality is dramatically reducing on a daily basis. You may have a dry crop but its feed value is limited.

Factor 2

Losses should be minimised. Losses in the haymaking process can occur in the following ways:

Respiration losses – grass will continue to breathe after cutting and will hence be respiring nutrients as it dries. Drying quickly will help to minimize losses here but losses can amount to 1 – 5% of the dry matter yield.

Leaching of nutrients – this is similar to respiring but involves the loss of nutrients principally because of rain. For the best crop hay should be made in a hot dry spell, and weather forecasts should be used to determine the best time to maximise yield quality. Losses can amount to up to 15% of dry matter through leaching.

Mechanical losses – Losses of up to 10% are acceptable here. These losses occur from crop not picked up by the harvesting or baling machine. This could be because the chop size is too small for the baler to pick up or because the cutting and baling machines are not in good working order and hence causing abrasions.

Dust and mould – This is particularly important for hay for horses. Dust and mould usually arise from adverse making conditions, similarly to leaching with wetness being the principal factor. Losses can be as much as 15% of dry matter.

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