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Listing of Hay Probes

Dan Putnam
, Dept. of Agronomy & Range Science, University of California, Davis, CA 95616
Vance Owens, Ag Hall Box 2207A, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007-1096
Tracy Ackerly, Dept. of Agronomy & Range Science, University of California, Davis, CA 95616


Choosing a proper hay probe is an important component of proper forage testing technique. The choice of either power-driven or hand-powered probes can be used in an integrated sampling program which includes taking at least 20 cores, sampling at 90o to the but ends of bales, sampling about 18 inches into the bale, and proper sample handling. There are a wide range of acceptable coring devises, each with advantages and disadvantages.  Probes should satisfy a number of criteria: they must fairly represent the leaf/stem ratio of the bales, they should sample deeply enough to represent the variation within bales, the tips should be kept sharp, and tips are recommended to be at 90o to the shaft (not cut at an angle).  No part of the sample (eg leaves or stems) should be lost when the probe is withdrawn from the bale (as it is with open augers).  Diameter should be between 3/8" and 5/8". An extremely small diameter coring device may not cut or represent the leaf-stem ratio properly, and a very large diameter probe may obtain a too-large sample which is difficult for labs to grind properly.  Length should probe to 14-24" in the butt-ends of the bale.  On large bales, some studies has shown that it is not necessary to sample to a greater depth, though further studies are being conducted.   Long probes (greater than 24") or wide diameter probes have the disadvantage that very large samples are generated, which in itself is not a problem, but many labs as a result will not grind the entire sample, which defeats the purpose of careful sampling.   The purpose of good technique is to develop a sample of about 1/2 lb with at least 20 probed cores. 

Hay Sampling and Hay Probe Posters

See the Forage Sampling section.

Hay Probe Listing

Important: This list is not intended to be exhaustive, and is not an endorsement of these probes or a disparagement of other probes by omission. Several probes listed here are NOT highly recommended, since they have features which may tend to mis-represent samples. Please contact us at Contact with additions or corrections to this listing.

AMS Hay & Forage Probe

AMS, Inc.
105 Harrison Street
American Falls, Idaho 83211
Phone: (800) 635-7330
Direct Link to Hay & Forage Probes:
Description: AMS Hay & Forage Probes are ideal for obtaining 12" or 24" representative core samples for quick visual inspection and laboratory analysis. The basic model is a 7/8" OD probe with a heat-treated serrated tip and chamfered extraction slot. The deluxe model includes the same probe body, and a (1 liter) removable plastic canister capable of holding approximately 20 cores. Both models require 1/2" chuck drills for operation (24V recommended).

Best Harvest Hay/Forage/Soil Sampler Probe

Best Harvest
4115 7 Mile Rd
Bay City, MI 48706
Please Call: 888-947-6226
Fax: 206-339-7334
Direct Link to Hay & Forage Probes:
Description: Our unique probe collection system incorporates a bagging process that allows over 20 samples to be collected contaminant free. It is ideal for gathering random samples to send a representative sample out for lab analysis.
  • Attach a cordless drill
  • Gallon size ziplock bag holds over 20 core samples
  • 18 inch probe depth
  • 5/8" Heat-treated hardened steel sharp serrated tip, 7/8" inside diameter probe
  • Protective shield covers sample collection area where baggie attaches
  • Cleanout brush used between samples, a brush ensures complete cleanout
  • No clogging, no contamination by hands, etc. Collection area is enclosed
  • Attractive pricing
  • 1 Year Warranty

Colorado Hay Probe

Contact: UDY Corp.
Phone: (970) 482-2060
Description: "PUSH TYPE" Aluminum alloy barrel, 5/8" diameter X 18" long, with stainless steel angled tip (>45 degrees, resharpenable). Collection chamber holds 10-15 cores.

Forageurs Hay Probe

Contact: Forageurs Corp.
Address: P.O. Box 564 Lakeville, MN 55044
Phone: (952) 469-2596
Description: "DRILL TYPE" Stainless steel probe barrel, either 14" or 24" long, 3/4" outside diameter. Hardened steel cutting tip, 0.60" cutting diameter. Steel canister ring with hexagonal steel shaft, fits hand brace or drill. Canister: 100 cu. inches, holds 20-30 cores, 4" PVC body with clear plexiglass top.

Frontier Mills 'Yankton' Hay Probe

Contact: Frontier Mills, Inc.
Address: 2002 South Dakota Highway 314, Yankton, SD 57078
Phone: (650) 665-2441
Description: "DRILL TYPE" 30" long X 1" inside diameter conduit pipe shaft with round 7" long X 4" diameter canister. External auger pulls the long probe into the bale. Different ends allow use as hand brace or with drill. Comes with replaceable tip and wooden dowel for cleaning.

Hay Chec Hay Sampler

Contact: Hodge Products, Inc.
Address: 7365 Mission gorge Rd. Ste F, San Diego, CA 92120
Phone: (619) 444-3147
Description: "PUSH TYPE" This is a 12" long hand probe with an internal diameter of 7/16 inch with a well-built stainless steel body and a clear plastic catch sample collection jar, and two foam-padded handles. Probe has a sample clearing stick. The body is weighted for helping to push into bales. This is one of the shortest of the hay probes.

HMC Hay Probe

Contact: Hart Machine Co.
Address: 1216 SW Hart St., Madras, OR 97741
Phone: (541) 475-3107
Description: "DRILL TYPE" Stainless steel barrels 12", 18", 24", or 30" long X 3/4"outside diameter and 5/8" inside diameter. Hardened smooth re-sharpenable tip, 1/2" diameter. Aluminum and steel collection canister holds 25-30 12" cores. Hub for brace or drill.

Oakfield Probe

Contact: Oakfield Apparatus, Inc.
Address: P.O. Box 65, Oakfield, WI 53065
Phone: (920) 583-4114
Description: It is made of stainless steel with a replaceable serrated screw-on tip. The tube is 18" long and cuts a core of 0.75" in diameter. Cores are removed from an open area on the side of the tube between samplings. The Probe is available for use with an electric drill or hand brace. Extension adapters are available for deeper sampling.

Penn State Probe

Contact: Nasco Corporation
Address: 4825 Stoddard Rd., Modesto, CA. 95356-9318
Phone: (800) 558-9595
Description: "DRILL TYPE" Stainless steel 1 1/8" diameter X 18" long. Available with 3/8" round shank adapter for use with electric or breast drill or square shank for use with hand brace. Replaceable cutting tip. Comes with dowel plunger to remove sample.

Sierra Hay Probe

Contact: Sierra Testing Service
Address: 9450 E. Collier Rd., Acampo, CA 95220
Phone: (209) 333-3337
Description: "PUSH TYPE" golf club type probe. This is a 16 1/2" stainless steel golf club shaft that cuts a 1/2" core. The shaft has a 7 1/2" x 1 7/8" tube handle attached at 90o at the end of the golf club shaft. The probe is self-unloading and provides for easy continuous sampling of baled hay. The probe has a clean out rod that aids in cleaning out the probe when the sample is completed. The rod also protects the cutting edge during storage.

Star Forage Probes

Contact: Star Quality Samplers
Address: 274022 on Range Road 272, Box 416, Irricana, AB, Canada, T0M 1B0
Phone: (403) 471-0097
Manufacture a variety of “DRILL TYPE” with  spiral assist and “PUSH TYPE” stainless steel forage samplers with “Star" cutting tips ranging from ½” to 7/8” diameter. Some have canisters. Two are specially designed for high moisture bales and silage. One silage sampler has extensions which can reach 13’ depth when used with a cordless drill.