How Do You Store Your Hay?

University of Tennessee research compared methods of storing large round bales of grass hay cut and stored in June, and then weighed the next January at the time of feeding. Researchers concluded that barn-stored hay suffered the least storage loss, with the next best option being to get the hay off the ground and under a tarp or plastic cover.

This week’s online poll is: “How do you store your hay?” Please leave your thoughts on what works and what doesn’t in terms of hay storage in the comments section after voting.

Discuss this poll 35

Anonymous
on Dec 19, 2013

50% in barn--the rest net wrapped on ground. Net wrap has saved us on the weather loss versus string tied bales. Wish we had more shed space!

Anonymous
on Dec 11, 2013

In barn, with the rest outside covered with 3-2-1 tarp

Anonymous
on Dec 11, 2013

Most in the barn.About 40 on ground covered. Check "Missouri Hay Tarps". They have some good tarps.

Anonymous
on Dec 11, 2013

Most in the barn.About 40 on ground covered. Check "Missouri Hay Tarps". They have some good tarps.

Anonymous
on Dec 11, 2013

50% in a hay barn and 50% on the ground.

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

Outside in bale sleeves on ground. Only lose a very little bit on bottom where moisture collects. No mold.

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

All hay is put up as baleage wrapped with plastic with an inline wrapper. Allows making hay when weather does not cooperate. Wrapped hay should have been included in study.

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

In hay barn(s). Built the barns with help from the Tennessee Ag. Enhancement Programs. This program has helped many of the farmers in Tennessee and other states should consider this program.

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

50% in barn, 25% out side on ground 3 high covered, 25% net wrapped out side fed frist

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

We raise cattle in a very humid environment, with an average 50 inch annual rainfall, ranging from 20 to 80 inches over the past three years. Consequently, we store most hay inside, in several old barns and one new barn now paid for by saving hay. Barn stored hay is twine wrapped with loose core. In 2013, we had more hay than barns would hold. Hired a neighbor to net wrap. We stored this overflow in the field near where it is being fed, on high ground, each row butted tight together, running north/south, about 2 to 3 feet apart. This hay is being fed first.

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

With Chinook's in southern Alberta, our hay keeps dry on the ground. Bales postioned west to east so there's less wind damage.

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

Outside with individual covers, bales ~ 6 ft. apart in all directions on sloped solid or well drained ground to minimize mud, sissal twine side facing the prevailing south winds to minimize wind impact to the tarps, enclosed in electric fenced yards, with movable feed wire on 1 or 2 sides to self feed the cows

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

All the barn and shed will hold, the rest is outside and fed first unless (like the past few days) ice binds the net to the hay. I also treat around the outside hay for fire ants in early October. I usually feed after dark, and there's no feeling quite like an arm full of fire ants up under your shirt, coat and coveralls in the dark after you have removed the net wrap.

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

in rows 4 feet apart no cover just netwrap hay stays in good shape

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

On high ground, graveled, using the "cap the can" or mushroom method with space between rows and bales. Works well for us for now

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

In barn for many years, more than 20. Figure savings paid for 80x84x14 metal barn in less than 4 years.

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

On the ground w/ no cover. No surprise to me that the best way to store hay is in a barn and worst is on the ground w/ no cover, i believe this has been a common knowledge within the industry for some time. I hope to have a hay barn in the next 5-6 years, but currently not enough cash to do so.

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

In a hay barn. Metal roof but open on all sides type.

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

Hay that is fed with tractor and stingers is stacked on ground end to end pushed tight. Hay to be fed with Dew Eze style hay truck is on ground side by side not touching.

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

Outside on pallets wrapped individually in plastic sleeves,

Anonymous
on Dec 10, 2013

Outside on pallets wrapped individually in plastic sleeves,

Anonymous
on Dec 8, 2013

Net wrapped in rows 3.5 ft apart on gravel slope

Anonymous
on Dec 7, 2013

Outside on ground. poor people have poor ways

Anonymous
on Dec 7, 2013

Some in shed on chipped limestone and rest outside uncovered on pallets. Planning on putting up storage shelter - hoop that will handle 200+ rounds

Anonymous
on Dec 7, 2013

Net on ground. Tried on tires and pallets, varmits and rodents
were able to get at the bottom wrapping and use for nesting
under the bale making it hard to load some of the bales.

Anonymous
on Dec 6, 2013

Mine are stored on pallets no cover.

Anonymous
on Dec 6, 2013

In Mt we put hay in north south rows on the ground. We probably don't have as much moisture as other areas

Anonymous
on Dec 6, 2013

Currently on the ground, but building a barn currently to store hay in the future.

Anonymous
on Dec 6, 2013

Stored outside on ground. Rows about 3 feet apart with the "cap the can" method.

Anonymous
on Dec 6, 2013

In a multiple barns. I also wrap some hay and store it as balage. Over flow hay is net wrap, stored on a hill. I found hay stored on the slope of a hill keeps pretty good short term. I would compare the quality to hay I have store on 4-6 inches of stone.

Anonymous
on Dec 6, 2013

On the ground uncovered.

Anonymous
on Dec 6, 2013

I use wooden pallets, which are to be burned @ my place of employment, to put under our round bales until I run out of them... it's free & only costs me a little extra labor.

Anonymous
on Dec 6, 2013

Most in barn. If you put pencil to it , a simple hay barn will pay for itself in several yeas plus add asset value.

Anonymous
on Dec 6, 2013

I have limited barn storage but I put as much as possible in there and the rest goes on the ground uncovered.

Anonymous
on Dec 6, 2013

In a Barn

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