What Hay Products are Exported by The Gombos Company?
The Gombos Company export hay products include all forage and roughage products such as:
- Alfalfa Hay
- Timothy Hay
- Rye Hay
- Grass Hay
However, our core export product is sun-cured alfalfa hay grown in the Western USA. We offer a variety of bale sizes and package options. For information on bales size and packaging, please read Hay Export Packaging for Alfalfa Export. Also read about our Natural Press Fresh Flake Small Bale Alfalfa
How Do You Grade Alfalfa?
First, The Gombos Company uses the USDA nutrition guideline to determine the alfalfa grade. The USDA guideline is objective, meaning it is based solely on scientific analysis. Using a special tool, we take core samples from multiple bales out of every stack. We send the samples to third-party labs for analysis. Each year, our labs must be certified by the National Forage Testing Association.
- Supreme (CP22/RFV185)
- Premium (CP20/RFV170)
- Good (CP18/RFV150)
- Fair (CP18/RFV130)
CP means “crude protein” and RFV means relative feed value. Generally, customers will ask for “Premium” alfalfa or they’ll say, “I need 18/150 alfalfa.”
Second, there is a lot more to grading alfalfa than CP and RFV. As experienced alfalfa exporters, we also consider the alfalfa’s physical characteristics. Of course, physical traits are subjective, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder! The experienced and well-informed Gombos hay-buyer understands how to judge these alfalfa appearance which can take many years to learn. Physical characteristics of alfalfa include:
- leaf to stem ratio
- leaf attachment
- stem size
There’s a lot more to grading export hay than we thought!
Third, the origin of the hay matters. In hot and sunny climates, alfalfa grows very fast and tends to be more dry with thinner stems. These areas might yield up to 11 cuttings. Colder climates tend to produce slow-growing alfalfa that is soft with thick stems. Areas like this usually have 3-4 cuttings per year. High desert and central regions produce a combination of physical traits depending on the time of year. 5-6 cuttings are normal in central regions.
Finally, the most important factor for grading alfalfa is the need of the customer.
All of these alfalfa grading factors combined help The Gombos Company achieve the gold standard in U.S. forage exports. We take pride our ability to grade hay. By doing so, we are consistent in making the perfect global selection for every customer. And, that is why we brand our export hay “Global Select™!”
Where Do You Get Your Export Hay?
With over 38 years in the alfalfa export industry, we have long-term relationships with farmers all over North America. As such, our experienced hay-buyers are able to source directly from farmers in the Western United States, Canada, and Mexico. For example, our Pacific Central Division sources alfalfa from Southern Oregon, Northern California, Northern Nevada, Western Idaho, and Eastern Utah. Similarly, our Pacific Northern Region and Pacific Southern Region use regional sources of supply.
What is Export Hay Processing?
Export hay processing is how we prepare hay products for export. For example, when alfalfa hay is first harvested, it is baled into either 3-tie bales or big bales. We refer to these bales as “single press.” First, we buy the single press alfalfa from the farmer. Second, we deliver the alfalfa to our hay processing facility. Third, we compress the bales using a special machine called a hay press.
In order to export alfalfa, we must first compress the bales to a specific size and weight. Bale sizes vary from small to large, and bale weights include 30Kg, 60Kg, 120Kg, and 450Kg. Processing the hay in this manner allow us to load more hay into the sea container and reduces ocean freight costs. After the container is loaded, it is drayed to the nearest seaport. The container is then loaded onto a ship and transported across the ocean to the customer.