South African Journal of Animal Science
On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
MULLER, C.J.C.; CRUYWAGEN, C.W.; DU TOIT, F.J. and BOTHA, J.A.. The drying rate and chemical composition of field and artificially dried lucerne hay. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2008, vol.38, n.4, pp. 350-354. ISSN 2221-4062.
The drying rate and chemical composition of lucerne hay that was field dried (sun cured) or artificially dried in a forced air bulk drier (FABD) were compared during summer (which is the dry season in the Western Cape Province). On six hay cutting occasions, plant material was left in the field for 24 hours after which some material was transferred to a FABD while the rest was left in the field for sun curing. The drying rate of lucerne hay in the FABD was significantly higher than in the field. The chemical composition of sun cured and lucerne hay dried in the FABD did not differ significantly. The study showed that, under good hay making conditions, sun cured lucerne hay is just as good as artificially dried lucerne hay, although the drying rate in the FABD was higher than field drying.
Keywords : Sun drying; field drying; forced air bulk drier; artificial drying; Mediterranean climate.