Iowa State University (ISU) is offering a new decision aid for comparing the costs of different hay storage options. Available on ISU Extension’s Ag Decision Maker (ADM) website, the free electronic spreadsheet can compare up to eight alternatives at a time.

Several types of cost are considered in the analysis. Initial investments in storage structure, tarps, gravel and pallets are amortized over their individual expected lives. Annual costs such as repairs, insurance and property taxes are part of the spreadsheet, as are estimated labor costs for storing and feeding the hay. And, the estimated value of spoilage losses under each system is considered.

The Excel®-based spreadsheet “Hay Storage Cost Comparison” can be downloaded at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/crops/xls/a1-15haystoragecost.xls.