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Hay blog

Hay drying in Brittany, France

A pricture of the farm:
Usable area: 140 ha grassland
Livestock: 80 dairy cattle + followers
Drying system: -SR 90 Vario dehumidifier
-SR 1120 ventilator with 37 kW
-Vario comfort controller
-3x 150 m² hay boxes
-1x 50 m² cereal box

Didier Le Hec works a grassland farm in Brandivy in Brittany together with his wife Annie and his brother Phillipe Le Hec. His farm is situated in the north-west of France, approximately 30 minutes from the Atlantic.

In total, the Le Hec family farm a 140 hectare area. Of this, 20 hectares are barley and triticale, 10 hectares are planted with maize, and throughout the entire summer 40 hectares are pasture. The remaining 70 hectares are cut several times for hay and dried indoors. The hay fields are divided into 30 hectares of permanent grassland and 40 hectares of field forage. A clover-grass mix with a proportion of lucerne is grown in the crop rotation. All the 70 ha of hay area is mowed four times, turned two to three times per cut, and is brought in within 24 to 30 hours after mowing, and dried inside until it is suitable for storage. The former cold-air ventilation with an extraction hood could, however, not fulfil the requirements on the hay quality due to the proximity to the sea and the short fair-weather periods. For this reason, in 2014 the Le Hec family invested in a new dehumidifier from the company HSR Heutrocknung SR GmbH, which continues to use the existing extraction hood. “The drying costs are not considerably different to those when using traditional cold-air ventilation. The differences in quality were immediately clearly measurable. Thus considerable improvement in quality was already obtained in the first drying season. 500 kg more milk per cow from the base feed was achieved” says Didier during a visit to his farm.

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