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Determining Moisture Content

Determining Moisture Content Using a Microwave

  1. Cut a representative cross-section of forage from the windrow.
  2. Cut the sample into 0.6 cm (1/4 in.) pieces.
  3. Weigh 100 grams of the material and place it on a paper plate or bag.
  4. Spread the sample out evenly and place it in microwave on high heat for three to four minutes.
  5. Weigh the sample and record the weight.
  6. Stir the sample and place it in microwave on high heat for one minute. Reweigh it and record the weight.
  7. Repeat step six until the weight loss is less than one gram. This is the dry weight.

Calculation: wet wt. grams - dry wt. grams /100 = percent moisture

Determining Moisture Content of Forage by Hand Method

Forage squeezed in hand Moisture %
Water easily squeezed out and material holds shape 80+
Water can just be squeezed out and material holds shape 75-80
Little or no water can be squeezed out but material holds shape 70-75
No water can be squeezed out and material falls apart slowly 60-70
No water can be squeezed out and material falls apart rapidly 60 or less

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