Hay Quality standards as defined by: The U. S. Dept of Agriculture
*Please note: Add the smell test to any hay you buy. If it doesn’t smell fresh, is dusty and doesn’t fit the descriptions for Supreme, Premium or Good then be aware your horse may not be getting the nutrition she/he needs and you may be paying too much.*
Legumes refers to Alfalfa and others. Grass is Bermuda, Timothy, Orchard and more
USDA Hay Quality Standards
(May be used in conjunction with lab tests for Alfalfa Hay Quality categories)
1. Very early maturity, pre-bloom, soft, fine stems, extra leafy.
2. Factors are indicative of very high nutritive content.
3. Hay is excellent color and free of damage.
1 .Early maturity (i.e. pre-bloom in Legumes and pre-head in the Grass hays),
2. Extra leafy, and fine stemmed–factors of a high nutritive content.
3. Hay is green and free of damage.
1. Early to average maturity (i.e. early to mid-bloom in Legumes and early head-in Grass hays)
2.Leafy, fine to medium stemmed.
3. Free of damage other than slight discoloration.
1. Late maturity (i.e. mid to late bloom in Legumes, head-in Grass hays)
2. Moderate or below leaf content.
3. Generally coarse stemmed and hay may show light damage.
1. Hay in very late maturity (mature seed pods in Legumes and mature head –in Grass hay)
2. Coarse Stemmed.
3. Discounted Hay due to excessive damage, heavy weed content or mold.
Southeast California: Wholesale at the Stack
September 11, 2015