Home > News > 3 Things to Consider for Proper Round Bale Storage

Hay bales on pasture at sunsetHay is a hot commodity during a time when sweeping drought conditions, wildfires and steep costs add a luxury price to each bale, making proper storage even more critical. Producers with hay to store need to be mindful of storage conditions to minimize loss as much as possible.

The “easy” way to store round bales isn’t the most economical. Storing dry hay on the ground with no cover causes spoilage. Ranch research by the University of Nebraska Extension reported no significant nutrient changes in total dry matter pounds, protein or nutrients on native hay and alfalfa plots. However, visual damage losses after one year between covered and uncovered with twin or net wrap have been recorded.

Three things to consider when determining your storage method include:

1. Hay quality or value. The higher the hay quality, the more intention should be put toward storage conditions.
2. The likelihood of spoilage in your area due to weather. Moisture and temperatures accelerate bacterial breakdown, increasing the rate of bale deterioration.
3. The length of time the bales will be exposed to weathering.

Read more on bale storage here.


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