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Friday, January 29, 2016

Hay or Straw...What's the Difference?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between hay and straw, or what their different purposes on the farm are?  In the picture below, straw is on the left and hay is on the right.  What is one difference that you see?


Every wondered what the difference is between hay and straw?  Check out this post to find out the answer to a common question.


 You might have first noticed that the straw (left) is yellow, while the hay (right) is green.  That is one of the biggest differences.  When you take a hay ride, it is actually probably a "straw ride."  The girls always ask me why it isn't just called a straw ride and I really don't have an answer for that other than hay ride just sounds better.;)

Another difference is how they are grown.  Straw comes from wheat.
Every wondered what the difference is between hay and straw?  Check out this post to find out the answer to a common question.

 If you've driven through the Midwest at all during the summer, then you've probably seen several fields of the gorgeous golden amber waves of grain.  Wheat harvest is my friend Jent's most favorite time of year.  You can read all about it on her blog.

The combine cuts the wheat and saves the seed which is then turned into cereal, bread, flour, and many more delicious foods.  The field is only harvested once.  Some farmers choose to plant double crop beans in the wheat stubble.  Double cropping means to harvest two crops from one field in one season.
Every wondered what the difference is between hay and straw?  Check out this post to find out the answer to a common question.

The combine leaves all the other parts of the plant in the field.  It is then baled in to square bales (they are actually rectangle, but everyone calls them square;)), or round bales.
Every wondered what the difference is between hay and straw?  Check out this post to find out the answer to a common question.

These bales are used for bedding to keep our cattle nice and comfy and warm when they lie down.
Every wondered what the difference is between hay and straw?  Check out this post to find out the answer to a common question.


Hay comes from a grass, mainly alfalfa or clover.  It is also harvested in the summer months.  Just like the grass grows in your yard after you mow it, so does hay.  Unlike wheat, we usually get 3-4 cuttings (or mowing) of hay a season.  We don't use a combine to mow the hay, but instead use a hay bine.  It works the same way as a lawn mower.  After the hay is cut, we let it dry for a day or two depending on weather conditions, then it is raked into rows and then baled.

Every wondered what the difference is between hay and straw?  Check out this post to find out the answer to a common question.

Like wheat, the hay is baled into square bales or round bales.  Here is a short video that shows the baling process.  The implement behind the tractor is called an accumulator.  It stacks the bales nice and neat to be picked up later.

Every wondered what the difference is between hay and straw?  Check out this post to find out the answer to a common question.

The hay is used to feed our cattle.  To find out what we feed our cattle, check out this post.

Every wondered what the difference is between hay and straw?  Check out this post to find out the answer to a common question.


So, there you have it!  Hopefully that clears up the question, "What's the difference between hay and straw?"

Every wondered what the difference is between hay and straw?  Check out this post to find out the answer to a common question.


Every wondered what the difference is between hay and straw?  Check out this post to find out the answer to a common question.













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