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Silage vs. Hay

Although it is possible to make hay in the Northeast in the spring, the odds are against it. Overall grass silage quality is considerably higher than for grass hay, based on forage lab analyses, but the average quality of grass silage is not yet where it can and should be. High yields are possible, but some dairy farmers discriminate against grass due to forage quality issues. More legitimate concerns are the economic and environmental costs of N fertilization, and moisture availability, both have strong impacts on grass yield. Significant advances have been made in recent years in recognizing the potential of well-managed grasses, but on average, the level of grass management is still not as high as with alfalfa.