Date of this Version
This NebGuide offers methods to help producers test moisture content of grain, hay, silage and other feeds.
Knowing the moisture and dry matter (DM) content of feeds is important to farmers for several reasons:
1. Livestock performance depends on DM consumed; thus, DM content must be known to accurately formulate rations.
2. Knowledge of moisture content is needed for harvest decisions during haying and silage chopping and for safe storage of grains, hay, and silage.
3. Moisture content is a major factor related to the value, or price, of forages and grain.
Every producer should be able to test for moisture. Several methods are available. It is important to remember that a "squeeze" test is not a very accurate method for estimating forage moisture content when making silage or hay.