In our last post we began a two part series that looks at how to effectively store hay indoors once it has been wrapped.
This time, we’re going to look at how to effectively store hay bales outdoors. Not everyone has room for storing their bales indoors, and with more farmers taking to storing their freshly wrapped hay bales in their fields, we thought it would be a good idea to list some top tips for keeping your bales safe and unspoilt.
Protection from the Elements
Unlike storing them indoors, bales stored outside are at the mercy of the elements and therefore need protection from the weather.
If the storage area that you are keeping your hay in is open on one or more sides such as a shed with only a roof, make sure to cover the bales with tarpaulin. Not only does this protect your bales from the wind and rain, but it also protects them from sunlight.
Sunlight bleaches the hay which causes it to lose some nutritional value, especially vitamin A and protein.
Make Sure Tarpaulin is Rip Free
If you are storing your hay outside completely and you have square bales, tarpaulin still needs to be used. As you won’t have the protection of a roof, it’s important to make sure any rain can drain off efficiently. These will need to be tied down to ensure that they can withstand the wind in the field.
This can be achieved by creating a stacked pyramid of bales covered in tarpaulin to allow the water to drain off. It is also important to make sure that the tarp that you are using doesn’t have any rips or snags in it where water can get in and ruin the bales.
Store Round Bales Apart
If your bales are round, be sure to store them at least 2 feet apart to avoid allowing water to soak through one bale and into another. Rows should be spaced at least 3 feet away from the previous row to allow water to effectively drain from the bales without splashing onto another one.
Round bales shed rain water a lot easier than square bales, so tarpaulin isn’t necessary to use.
It is worth noting that no matter what precautions are taken, some hay may spoil when stored outside. This can depend on the weather, the type of soil that the field has and what type of wrap you have used.
We hope that this two part series has been helpful and given you some top tips on how to store your hay effectively.
At Dennison Stretch Films, we provide a wide range of film wrapping solutions. From our extremely durable agricultural stretch film to our easy to use hand stretch film, we are able to find the perfect film wrap for you.
We manufacture and produce our own film, allowing us to take on bespoke shrink or stretch wrap orders. We create our wrap to youe needs and specifications to you can be sure that the film is up to the job. For more information on our shrink and stretch wrap solutions, don’t hesitate to contact us by calling our team today on 0161 242 1275.