As many farmers have harvested the first cut of their hay crops, the next task at hand is moving bales into storage for the winter.

Alberta Agriculture's Forestry Beef and Forage Specialist, Barry Yaremcio, recommends it's best to store round bales under a shed.

"You can get 20 to 25 per cent deterioration of quality and weight loss in bales that are stored outside, unprotected in a years time."

He says if you have to store round bales outside, putting them under plastic leaving the ends open will help reduce spoilage.

He says storing your round bales in individual rows is your best bet, spaced six to 10 inches apart.

The mushroom stack, where the first bale is laid flat and one is put on top, is a much better option than storing you're bales in a pyramid according to Yaremcio.

"That's probably the worst way to store bales," he said when explaining the pyramid stacking method. "As the moisture comes down, and leaks in between the top row, to the second, to the third, to the fourth, anytime that moisture goes down the centre of the pile where those bales are touching, you'll find black hay and that's where your damage is done."

Yaremcio says when it comes to small square bales you want to store them inside, whereas large square bales can be stacked three or four high if you need to stack them outside, using a tarp to protect the hay from the elements.


Read more: Hay Prices May Come Down This Year


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