Monthly Archives: January 2014

Canadian Alfalfa Hay Exports

Alfalfa hay is high in energy, protein and digestible fibre, making it the preferred forage for dairy cows and horses and is recognized around the world.  Alalfa hay is widely grown in Western Canada, due to this regions ideal growing conditions for this nutrient rich legume.

There are many factors to consider when growing and processing high quality alfalfa hay including: soil management, nutrient composition, seeding rates, time of cutting, raking, baling and storage of the product.  It’s important to cut the forage when it is young to ensure maximum quality and nutrients, compared to a plant that is older and already flowering.

Alfalfa hay goes through two processing industries in preparation for export.  These processes are alfalfa dehydration and hay compaction.  Most of the processing occurs in the Canadian Prairies and products include dehydrated alfalfa meal and pellets, sun-cured alfalfa pellets, alfalfa cubes and compressed bales of alfalfa hay.

The Canadian compressed hay industry was first established in the early 1980s.  Most of the industry is located in Alberta.  Hay and grain growers like Barr-Ag have access to ideal climatic conditions based on the foothills of the Canadian Rockies as well as better access to irrigation.  This location also provides easy access to export terminals on the west coast, the last stop in Canada before alfalfa hay products are exported to Asia and other international markets.

Double Compressed Alfalfa Hay

After the alfalfa forage is cut and baled it is sent to Barr-Ag facilities for double-compression.  Bales are untied and loaded into the compressing machine where they are compressed to less than two times their original size.  Hydraulic pressure is used to compress the bails before they are retied with banding materials.  Double-compressed hay bales can vary in size and weight.

Type of Double-Compressed Bale Weight Dimensions # of bales in a 40 HiCube Trailer
Full Bale 60kg 21x24x18” 416 double-compressed bales
Half Cut Bale 30kg 21x12x18” 832 double-compressed bales
Mini Bale 40kg 21x18x16” 580 double-compressed bales
Big bale in sleeve – 2 cut 420kg 48x36x39” 58 double-compressed bales
Big bale in sleeve – 4 cut 420kg 48x36x39″ 58 double-compressed bales
Big bale in sleeve – 8 cut 420kg 48x36x39″ 58 double-compressed bales

Double compressed alfalfa hay bales can also be processed with a protective sleeve or full wrap for storage and transport.  Watch this video of compressed alfalfa hay bales being wrapped in Barr-Ag’s facility.

Do you want to export Canadian alfalfa hay?

At Barr-Ag, we do our best to accommodate the needs of our customers. We take care of all of the required customs documents to help ensure that deliveries are problem-free from our end. Shipments to Asia go via the Port of Vancouver, shipments to Europe go via the Port of Montreal and freight to the USA goes via Chicago/Fort Lauderdale. Flexible shipping options include cost and freight (CNF), freight on board (FOB) and container yard (CY).

Contact us for more information!

For more information