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).
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