Proper Forage Storage
While the invention of the round bale has made livestock feeders’ lives much easier, round bales can also translate into more waste when not stored or fed properly. During times like these, when hay is so expensive, proper hay practices are critical to help minimize costs.
Marty New, an Oklahoma State University extension area livestock specialist, to go over some do’s and don’ts of proper hay storage.
“Biggest thing is to get them stacked in rows north to south with no shade exposure and keep the rows about three feet apart, that way we get good airflow and exposure to the sun, that way when we do have a rain or snow event, it allows us to get that drying time, because as that moisture penetrates further and further into that fail that's where we start to see the deterioration.”
The second key to proper hay storage is baling smart.
“It starts with how you make a good bale nailing at the right time and the right time is are we getting the forage at the right time, but also are we running that baler at the right time, are all those factors coming into play, and then how that Bale is being formed in our baler.”
New says the density of a bale is what creates the ability to shed water. And, he says, netwrap gives more protection than twine, protecting the quality and leaves of the bale, the most valuable part.