In by Nick Fitzpatrick

Timothy Hay, a native grass to north America is a staple food for horses, cattle and a variety of small animals. It was first introduced to the continent in New Hampshire in the early 1700s and was cultivated as a livestock hay becoming over time a natural grass throughout north America. It grows better in the northern colder areas and does well in heavy soil. Although cultivated in most states and provinces in the north, in particular the northeast and northwest is known for producing the most timothy hay.

Timothy Hay comes in essentially two forms. Either as a 1st cutting hay, high in long fiber and nutrition and by comparison a more coarse hay. Or as a 2nd cutting softer green type hay, higher in protein and more palatable. It is also grown mixed in with other grasses and legumes and in most cases is made into hay as a mix with either Orchard, Alfalfa, Clover, Fescue, Brome and many other types of native grasses and legumes.

In our opinion the highest quality timothy is consistently produced in the Kittitas Valley of Washington State as well as the Columbia River Basin. Cool higher elevation and dry climate with irrigation and persistent drying wind all come together there to produce the best timothy hay in large quantities. The Kittitas valley has been producing timothy hay for export and other far away markets for generations and continues to do so today. Other notable regions known for producing quality timothy hay include Alberta and Ontario Canada, the fingerlakes region of NY and parts of northern Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Bale sizes that timothy hay comes in vary by region and local farming practices and are also dictated by transportation constraints. In the east, in new England hay is typically baled in 40lb small square bales or round bales and large square bales. Throughout Western NY, Ontario, Ohio and Michigan a larger 65lb 2 string bale is more common as well as round bales and large square bales. And when you get to the west the 3 tie 100lb bale is king in the timothy market. In all regions however small balers are being rapidly replaced by large square balers because of the changing dynamics of labor shortage and farm machinery preferences. The rise of the large square baler as the preferred method of baling presents a problem for the horse market that prefers the small bales for ease of handling and use in stable type barns. Because of the increased number of large square balers baling timothy you will see in the future more timothy available in recompressed type bales that are blocky and more dense than traditional bales. This is because a secondary machine is used to slice the large square bale down into smaller sizes and repackage it to a manageable size for customers.

Aden Brook offers a number of grades and bale sizes of timothy to fully serve the needs of our customer base. As with all of the hay we offer consistency and quality are most important to keep customers supplied year after year. Through long term relationships established through the years with our growers we are able to do this. We offer top of the line western timothy from Washington, Timothy and Timothy Mixes from NY, Ohio, PA and Ontario and mixed timothy grasses from eastern NY and New England.

 

View our Timothy products