5 tips for better hay storage
Soon if not already you’ll be buying your hay. Here are some top tips to help you prepare for this.
1. Clean out the storage area
Remove all hay from previous years. If you have a cement floor, sweep the area out. Rake dirt floors and let the area dry/air out for a few days before stacking your new hay.
2. Prepare the storage area
Always put a barrier between the ground and your hay. Wood pallets work best to keep the bottom layer off of the ground while still allowing air circulation under the stack. Allow space in between stacks for air circulation and keep stacks at least six inches away from exterior walls (especially walls that heat up during the hot summer days).
3. Stack as you feed
Don’t block your hay in. If you're feeding a mixture of hay and haylage daily, make sure you can access both easily.
4. Separate different cuttings and different kinds of hay
It’s easy to tell hay and haylage apart when they’re first baled and stacked. When it starts to fade, however, it’s not so easy. Know where you stack each type; you can also tie a tag onto the baler twine indicating the field the hay came off of.
5. Keep a tally record
It’s easy to forget how much hay you’ve stacked and stored as the season continues. Write your totals somewhere – either keep a notebook for your farm/stable, or mark it on a calendar or note board. This is the only way to know how much hay you have and how much more or less you'll need next year!
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