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Nick

Small bale hay

Can the house reassure me that once baled, hay won't come to much harm if it sits in the field for a couple of days with the odd light shower? I'm assuming it'll continue to dry with only the surface getting damp and then drying in the wind and sun?

Looks like it might be done the moment I go away for two days at work. And the forecast shows light showers.
dpack

should be ok ,just be sure to collect and stack it after a drying phase.

tis years since i have been involved in hay making but i seem to recall that small bales are quite well "thatched" against a bit of rain
Slim

Probably best to lay them so the rain hits the hay "lengthwise" and not the end where it may flow in better. This would also keep those ends from wicking moisture up from the ground, so that only the very bottom layer and top layer get damp (hopefully)

I would still monitor the bales closely before storage. It all depends on your system and your equipment. Can you put a loosely filled wagon under cover somewhere to dry out again before tight stacking?

Is this hay for feed, or just meant to be mulch? After a few days of rains it won't be much value for feed, except maybe the very core of the bale

I just googled around since I didn't have a good source of the top of my head, but here's this: http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/forages/utilization/preserving-the-value-of-dry-stored-hay/
Quote:
Dry matter losses caused by the combination of soil moisture and precipitation can be fairly large. For example, in Oklahoma, researchers found 13.1% dry matter loss for uncovered storage on the ground versus 2% loss for covered storage on pallets. Wisconsin researchers found 10.9% loss for uncovered storage on the ground versus 4.6% in a barn. In the Morris study, average dry matter losses in the uncovered piles on sod were 11.2% versus 2.3% in the barn. It appears that for eight to nine months of storage, you can expect a 6 to 11 percentage unit advantage by keeping bales off wet ground and under cover.

Besides losing dry matter, uncovered hay also loses quality as determined by nutritional analysis and by appearance. The loss in dry matter reduces weight available for sale and the loss in quality can have a large impact on animal performance and on hay value. For example, in our study at Morris, the internal parts of bales stored in the shed had a relative feed value (RFV) of 133 and the bottom six inches of the bales at the bottom of the pile had an RFV of 106. The internal parts of bales stored uncovered, outside on sod had an RFV of 114 and the external parts of the bales had RFVs ranging from 55 to 107.
Ty Gwyn

Not recommended for small bales,fine for round bales.
Slim

Not recommended for small bales,fine for round bales.


Even that's not great if you can help it. Something like 30% of the bale is in the outer 6 inches which where you lose your quality and dry matter.....
Ty Gwyn

Not recommended for small bales,fine for round bales.


Even that's not great if you can help it. Something like 30% of the bale is in the outer 6 inches which where you lose your quality and dry matter.....


If you store round bales to soon,you have a danger of a fire,
And lose all your dry matter.
Slim

Not recommended for small bales,fine for round bales.

Even that's not great if you can help it. Something like 30% of the bale is in the outer 6 inches which where you lose your quality and dry matter.....


If you store round bales to soon,you have a danger of a fire,
And lose all your dry matter.

Nobody wants a barn fire, but at that point they were wetter than you were hoping for anyway and you're losing quality there as well. (not that weather is likely to cooperate with anybody during haymaking......)

Quote:
Storing hay inside a well ventilated barn will result in the least amount of loss. Humid regions... are good candidates for inside bale storage. Humid areas are also prone to bales being too wet at time of harvest. Bales too high in moisture can heat and catch fire. Thus, tightly packing bales into a barn can end with the loss of the shed if a bale catches fire.

Quote:
Storing hay can be improved several ways. If you do plan to store hay inside, invest in a hay moisture probe that will help you determine if hay if fit to pack into a barn with little risk of fire. If you plan to store hay outside, improve the drainage of the area. Run bale rows up and down a sloping area. You can stack bales on pallets or railroad ties. You may look into a layer of coarse rock that will keep bale to soil contact at a minimum. Make sure bales are not touching and avoid stacking bales outside without tarping. Tarps are a lower cost investment than sheds. If tarps are secured properly and the bottom of the bale is kept dry, expect big improvements in bale storage. Keeping moisture off and away from bales will help reduce hay storage losses.


From: http://www.cattlenetwork.com/advice-and-tips/stockerpasturerangeland/storing-hay-properly
Slim

Here's a nice page on square bales and rain: http://www.afia.org.au/index.php/fodder-care/hay-factsheets/making-quality-hay/143-managing-hay-after-it-rains Ty Gwyn

Not recommended for small bales,fine for round bales.

Even that's not great if you can help it. Something like 30% of the bale is in the outer 6 inches which where you lose your quality and dry matter.....


If you store round bales to soon,you have a danger of a fire,
And lose all your dry matter.

Nobody wants a barn fire, but at that point they were wetter than you were hoping for anyway and you're losing quality there as well. (not that weather is likely to cooperate with anybody during haymaking......)

Quote:
Storing hay inside a well ventilated barn will result in the least amount of loss. Humid regions... are good candidates for inside bale storage. Humid areas are also prone to bales being too wet at time of harvest. Bales too high in moisture can heat and catch fire. Thus, tightly packing bales into a barn can end with the loss of the shed if a bale catches fire.

Quote:
Storing hay can be improved several ways. If you do plan to store hay inside, invest in a hay moisture probe that will help you determine if hay if fit to pack into a barn with little risk of fire. If you plan to store hay outside, improve the drainage of the area. Run bale rows up and down a sloping area. You can stack bales on pallets or railroad ties. You may look into a layer of coarse rock that will keep bale to soil contact at a minimum. Make sure bales are not touching and avoid stacking bales outside without tarping. Tarps are a lower cost investment than sheds. If tarps are secured properly and the bottom of the bale is kept dry, expect big improvements in bale storage. Keeping moisture off and away from bales will help reduce hay storage losses.


From: http://www.cattlenetwork.com/advice-and-tips/stockerpasturerangeland/storing-hay-properly Ty Gwyn

[quote="Ty Gwyn:1464928"][quote="Slim:1464924"]Not recommended for small bales,fine for round bales.

Even that's not great if you can help it. Something like 30% of the bale is in the outer 6 inches which where you lose your quality and dry matter.....


If you store round bales to soon,you have a danger of a fire,
And lose all your dry matter.

Nobody wants a barn fire, but at that point they were wetter than you were hoping for anyway and you're losing quality there as well. (not that weather is likely to cooperate with anybody during haymaking......)


I take it you have handled a lot of big bale hay?
dpack

having read their wise words im wondering if wilby was being optimistic after badly timed rain as the stuff had just been baled, tis close on 50 yrs ago

he was pretty chuffed to have a baler rather than a fork and cart .
Nick

Thanks. I think the answer will be what will be, will be. I've no choice in work and no control over the weather.

It's food, but only for horses and we have a massive excess*, so they can just eat more. Or starve. I'm easy. Smile

As for tools, I've a teenager or two and a small trailer. They'll be stacked in a series of small sheds on pallets.

Sun through Wednesday would be the perfect answer.

*of both hay, and arguably, horses.
Slim

Not recommended for small bales,fine for round bales.

Even that's not great if you can help it. Something like 30% of the bale is in the outer 6 inches which where you lose your quality and dry matter.....


If you store round bales to soon,you have a danger of a fire,
And lose all your dry matter.

Nobody wants a barn fire, but at that point they were wetter than you were hoping for anyway and you're losing quality there as well. (not that weather is likely to cooperate with anybody during haymaking......)


I take it you have handled a lot of big bale hay?

Nope, I'm more veggies background and have been learning about forage quality, etc over the past few years. More of an academic than a practitioner these days. Sorry if I have a tone of more experience than I should!

I agree that a barn fire is worse than quality and dry matter loss! I'm just pointing out that if your bales are at risk of spontaneous combustion than they were baled wetter than you would be aiming for. (Baleage is a totally different story, and probably what I would be trying to do if I were feeding cows/sheep)
dpack

Thanks. I think the answer will be what will be, will be. I've no choice in work and no control over the weather.

It's food, but only for horses and we have a massive excess*, so they can just eat more. Or starve. I'm easy. Smile

As for tools, I've a teenager or two and a small trailer. They'll be stacked in a series of small sheds on pallets.

Sun through Wednesday would be the perfect answer.

*of both hay, and arguably, horses.

if you have teenagers and a tarp perhaps making a tarp sandwich of them as soon as they emerge from the bailer would avoid them getting wet before there is chance to move and stack them properly.
Slim

Shouldn't the teenagers be following the baler and picking up the bales anyway? Laughing Ty Gwyn

Not recommended for small bales,fine for round bales.

Even that's not great if you can help it. Something like 30% of the bale is in the outer 6 inches which where you lose your quality and dry matter.....


If you store round bales to soon,you have a danger of a fire,
And lose all your dry matter.

Nobody wants a barn fire, but at that point they were wetter than you were hoping for anyway and you're losing quality there as well. (not that weather is likely to cooperate with anybody during haymaking......)


I take it you have handled a lot of big bale hay?

Nope, I'm more veggies background and have been learning about forage quality, etc over the past few years. More of an academic than a practitioner these days. Sorry if I have a tone of more experience than I should!

I agree that a barn fire is worse than quality and dry matter loss! I'm just pointing out that if your bales are at risk of spontaneous combustion than they were baled wetter than you would be aiming for. (Baleage is a totally different story, and probably what I would be trying to do if I were feeding cows/sheep)


No problem Slim,
Baleage is not a term we use over here,do you mean Haylage or Silage?

Baling bale`s wetter than what was aimed at would be disasterous for hay,they would be dusty and mouldy,that`s where the wrapping saves the day.

Even if hay is baled in prestine condition in perfect weather its still not advisable to store straight away,a test to let you know when its safe is to insert a rebar into the centre of the bale for a few minutes,pull out and feel the bar,the temp will tell you when safe.

Where you can cart small bales straight to storage,large bales have approx. 10 small bales in the make up,that`s a lot of hay to heat up.
Slim

Baleage is what we call wrapped bales (giant field marshmallows to children). A lot drier than would be put up in a glass-lined silo, and drier than would be put up in a bunk or an "ag bag". But still the same idea, allowed to ferment in the bale. Nick

Shouldn't the teenagers be following the baler and picking up the bales anyway? Laughing

I'm guessing you've read a lot about teenagers, but never handled one tho? Wink

If I can get them out of bed, it'd be a result.

Smile
dpack

Shouldn't the teenagers be following the baler and picking up the bales anyway? Laughing

I'm guessing you've read a lot about teenagers, but never handled one tho? Wink

If I can get them out of bed, it'd be a result.

Smile

bbq and beer for them and their helpers is often a good inducement IF the job spec is very clearly defined Wink
sean

Pfft, you're doing it wrong. Mine is redecorating his bedroom. Smile Slim

Shouldn't the teenagers be following the baler and picking up the bales anyway? Laughing

I'm guessing you've read a lot about teenagers, but never handled one tho? Wink

If I can get them out of bed, it'd be a result.

Smile

bbq and beer for them and their helpers is often a good inducement IF the job spec is very clearly defined Wink

Beer would be quite the inducement for a teenager here, as even the oldest isn't legally allowed to touch the stuff for another 2 years! (may also lead to jail time for the supplier)
Nick

Shouldn't the teenagers be following the baler and picking up the bales anyway? Laughing

I'm guessing you've read a lot about teenagers, but never handled one tho? Wink

If I can get them out of bed, it'd be a result.

Smile

bbq and beer for them and their helpers is often a good inducement IF the job spec is very clearly defined Wink

Beer would be quite the inducement for a teenager here, as even the oldest isn't legally allowed to touch the stuff for another 2 years! (may also lead to jail time for the supplier)

To be fair, one at 19 will do almost anything I ask, but he does consume very heavily on the beer & BBQ front. He does need complete, specific and unwavering instructions, too.

The 17 year old is glued to a duvet or a screen, and rarely surfaces. It's easier to do stuff around him than get him to do anything. Especially if it involves outside. He will, occasionally, be motivated by pizza, and the odd alcohol free cider.
gregotyn

I haven't followed all that through, but I am told, and we did it when I was a farm pupil, that spreading salt over the wet bales would prevent a fire. This was also done post student days, on another farm I worked on when the bales were on the wetter side of dry, so if you are worried then perhaps worth a phone call to a college or an advisor of some sort, NFU or FUW; does ADAS still exist in an advisory capacity?-I'm only trying to help!! Nick

450, Way more than I need have been safely tucked into the stable buildings. One bumble bee sting/nip. Minimal casualties.

The remaining bales are likely to be sold straight from the field.

No rain occurred.

I started shifting them this morning at 7.30. Teenager turned up to help with the last load about 12.45 Smile

Useless.
dpack

glad you got them in dry.

i guess it will be one hotdog and bring you beer then Laughing
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