Hay vs straw

Hay is cut and dried grass, alfalfa or clover used as feed for animals.  Hay is often baled or bound in bundles shaped like squares or rounds. The word hay may also describe a certain country dance. Hay may be used as a noun or a verb, when describing the act of cutting and baling hay. Related words are hays, hayed, haying. Hay is derived from the Old English word, heg.

Straw is dried grain stems left over after the grain is harvested. Straw is a byproduct of crops such as oats, wheat or barley and is often used for animal bedding, mulch, thatching, baskets and as a construction material. The word straw may also refer to a hollow tube made of plastic or paper that is used to suck drinks out of a bottle, glass or can. Remember, hay is a nutritious grass used as fodder for animals, straw lacks nutrition and is used as a bedding, a mulch or in other non-edible ways.


Edwards, 62, the band’s original cellist, was killed on the A381 between Halwell and Harbertonford when the six hundredweight round bale of hay rolled over a hedge and struck his van. (The North Devon Journal)

The best solution is to compost hay before you use it in the garden or as mulch so the weed seeds will be killed in a heated composting system. (The Bellingham Herald)

Thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused in Harpenden when arsonists set bales of straw alight.  (The St. Albans and Harpenden Review)

“However, after studying the information from witnesses and experts, the straw is not so significant in this case,” he said, responding Jessica’s lawyer Otto Hasibuan at trial on Wednesday. (The Jakarta Post)

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