Improper hay bale storage can lead to quality-loss in the bale. Having to replace hay bales results in preventable overhead increases for your farm operation. Avoid this by following proper hay bale storage practices.
1. Store Hay Bales Indoors
Indoor storage preserves hay bale quality and color. We recommend storage inside a pole building or steel barn with good ventilation and zero traces of leakage. Indoor storage protects the hay from direct sunlight. Sunrays deplete the hay of nutrients, such as protein and vitamin A.
Also, hay bales are flammable, so the building should ideally be constructed from fire-proof material. Our optional features also include vents and windows for optimal air flow.
2. Let the Hay “Breathe”
Do not store the bales back-to-back; leave at least three-feet of space between stacks for air to circulate. This also prevents the hay from absorbing too much moisture. Moisture levels in hay should not exceed 15%. You should also stick to cured hay, which is more resistant to moisture buildup. Once in a while, open a bale to inspect for mold.
3. Keep Hay Bales Above the Floor
Keep the bottom stack off the floor. Consider stacking the bales on a pallet or some other platform. This also protects the bottom stack from water should rain cause an indoor flood or pooling water.
4. Use a Tarp for Outdoor Hay Storage
Sometimes you might need to store some bales outdoors due to space limitations. If so, stack the hay in a pyramid formation and cover with a tarp. Follow the same tips outlined above: allowing adequate space between bales and keeping them off the floor.
We Install Sheds and Storage Barns
Hay has specific storage requirements. C&S Construction installs the ideal kind of building that meets the required criteria. We use laminated posts from Timber Technologies. This provides solid material for a shed or hay bale storage building.
Barn and Storage Installation
Serving customers from Pullman to Bonners Ferry and Wenatchee to Western Montana. Including Spokane, Coeur D’Alene, Cheney, Pullman, Sandpoint, Wallace and the surrounding area since 1998