Alfalfa is one of the most widely cultivated hay crops in the world, with about 55 million tons grown annually in the United States.
PROSSER – Stored hay dampened by flooding in southwestern Washington poses a serious risk for spontaneous combustion, according to two Washington State University experts.
Moisture reduces the hay’s quality and can create microbial growth and chemical reactions that could result in fire, according to WSU associate crop scientist Steve Fransen and Skagit County Extension educator Ned Zaugg.
The two have authored an informational paper on the risk, describing how to test for signs of spontaneous combustion and what to do about it. The Washington State Department of Agriculture is distributing the paper to farmers and ranchers in flood areas. The information is also available on … » More …