Wednesday, November 20, 2013
150px_ms_hay_bales

Kansas Hay: Tips To Minimize Storage Loss in Large Round Bales

AgFax.Com - Your Online Ag News Source


With the high price of hay in recent years, producers should do everything they can to protect their investment. One thing producers should look at in particular is their method of storing large round bales, said Doo-Hong Min, K-State Research and Extension crops and soils specialist.

Large round bales are more susceptible to storage losses than small rectangular bales when stored outdoors, he said.

“Much of the dry matter loss with outdoor storage is associated with microbial respiration under optimal moisture, temperature, and nutrient condition for microbes,” said Min, who is a Kansas State University agronomist based at the K-State Southwest Extension office in Garden City.

 

The following are ways producers can minimize loss when large round bales are stored outside:

  • Maintain good bale density. One of the most important ways to reduce round bale loss is to tighten the outer layer of bale. If the bale is not tight enough, microbes are going to use oxygen to break down the bale using moisture and nutrients. If you can depress the surface more than a half inch, the round bale could experience significant loss when placed outside and unprotected. It’s recommended to have a minimum density of 10 pounds of hay per cubic foot.
  • Use covers on the bales. Round bales stored outside and covered with either plastic or canvas generally experience much less deterioration than unprotected bales. Weathering can reduce forage quality of round bale hay, particularly digestibility. Plastic wrap, net wrap, reusable tarps, or plastic twine can be used to prevent the loss from weathering. Plastic wrap or net wrap will result in less loss than twine.
  • Select a good storage site. Selecting a good storage site is another important consideration in reducing bale loss with little cost involvement. First of all, the storage site should not be shaded and should have good air circulation, which will enhance drying conditions. The storage site also should be well-drained to reduce moisture absorption into the bottom side of the round bales. A well-drained, 4 to 6 inch coarse rock base would help minimize bottom spoilage of a large round bale.
  • Elevate the bales to reduce storage loss rather than placing them on the ground. Ground contact can account for more than half of the total dry matter loss. Elevate the bales from the ground using racks, fence posts, discarded pallets, railroad ties, used tires, or a layer of crushed rock about 4 to 6 inches deep to have good drainage.
  • Orient rows of bales to promote good drying. It’s recommended to stack large round bales in rows end-to-end, give three feet between rows, and orient the rows in a north-south direction. This will allow the area to dry faster after a rain by having good sunlight and air flow. Vegetation between rows should be mowed to allow good air flow.

Storage loss in large round bales coincides with precipitation amount, Min added.

“Storage loss in eastern Kansas is much greater than in western Kansas. Bales can be stored outside in western Kansas for a couple of years before much significant loss will occur, but storage loss can be significant in eastern Kansas after just one year of outside storage,” Min said.

Rarely would indoor storage pay for itself in western Kansas, but storing high quality/high value forage in eastern Kansas might justify the expense of storing hay under cover, the K-State agronomist added.

Tags: , , ,


Leave a Reply

Name and Email Address are required fields. Your email will not be published or shared with third parties.

Sunbelt Ag News

    AFB Grain-Soybean Close: Corn, Wheat Higher, Soybeans See Modest Losses11-26

    AFB Cotton Close: Prices Surge Higher11-26

    AFB Rice Close: Jan, March Chart Bullish Key Reversals11-26

    Energy: N. American Oil Companies See Improved Financial Results in 3rd Quarter11-26

    Residential Heating Oil Prices Lower11-26

    Propane Stocks Fall 2M Barrels11-26

    Gasoline Prices Drop 7 Cents11-26

    Diesel Prices Fall 3 Cents11-26

    Texas: Hopkins County Designated Natural Disaster Area11-26

    Kansas: 4 Counties Declared Natural Disaster Areas11-26

    Alabama: 4 Counties Designated as Primary Disaster Areas11-26

    Texas Pecans: Demand Good but Quality Variable11-26

    Louisiana Pecans: Light Deliveries, Good Buying Interest11-26

    Georgia Pecans: Prices Slightly Higher with Strong Trade11-26

    DTN Livestock Midday: Pressure Develops in Cattle Trade11-26

    DTN Grain Midday: Soybeans Slip 5 to 10 Lower11-26

    Farmers Share What They’re Thankful For — DTN11-26

    GMO Crops Have Facts on Their Side, but Debate Goes on — DTN11-26

    DTN Cotton Open: Posts Slight Gains in Quiet Trade11-26

    Wheat: Make One Last Scouting Trip This Fall — DTN11-26

    Farm Income Down 21%; Expenses Up 5.7% – USDA Forecast11-26

    DTN Livestock Open: Futures to Start on Mixed Basis11-26

    DTN Grain Open: Wheat Leads Markets Higher11-26

    Keith Good: Net Farm Income to Drop 21.1% from 2013, ERS Forecasts11-26

    DTN Livestock Close: Feeder Futures Knocked Hard for 2nd Session11-25

    Livestock: 6 Tips to Fight PEDv This Fall11-25

    Doane Cotton Close: Outside Strength Helps Prices Rebound11-25

    AgFax Cotton Review: New Stink Bug App; India Exports Drop11-25

    DTN Cotton Close: Higher on Light Volume11-25

    Tax Breaks: Waiting for 2014 Equipment Deduction, Biofuel – DTN11-25

    DTN Grain Close: Bean Complex Rallies, Grains Follow11-25

    USDA: Weekly National Peanut Prices11-25

    Georgia: 10 Farm Bill Meetings Scheduled for Mid Dec.11-25

    AgFax Rice Review: Iraq Resumes U.S. Purchases; Cambodia Wins Best Rice Award11-25

    Winter Weather Creates More Problems for Railroads — DTN11-25

    Future of Cellulosic Biofuels in U.S. Questioned — DTN11-25

    AgFax Peanut Review: Growers Urged to Plant Earlier; Texoma Sells Drying Facility11-25

    Shurley on Cotton: New Round of Weakness Sets In11-25

    Welch on Wheat: Crop Condition Down Slightly11-24

    Welch on Grain: Snow Keeps 770M Bushels of Corn in Field11-24

    Farmland Partners Buys 7 South Carolina Farms for $28M11-24

    Livestock: Hog and Pork Prices Return to Reality11-24

    Corn: Breaking Down Stalks Takes Thought, Planning — DTN11-24

    DTN Fertilizer Outlook: Winter’s Arrival May Delay Some Buying11-24

    Brazil Soybeans: Dry Conditions Still Cause for Concern11-24

    Flint on Crops: Low Input Farming May be Necessary in 201511-24

    Midwest Corn And Soybean Yields – Our Readers’ Reports – AgFax11-22

    Grain Drying: 6 Questions About Effects Of Sudden Drop In Temps11-21

    Sunbelt Ag Events

     

    About Us

    AgFax.Com covers agricultural trends and production topics, with an emphasis on news about cotton, rice, peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat and tree crops, including almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios.

      

    This site also serves as the on-line presence of electronic crop and pest reports published by AgFax Media LLC (formerly Looking South Communications).

        

    Click here to subscribe to our free reports.

      

    We provide early warnings and confirmations about pests, diseases and other factors that influence yield. Our goal is to quickly provide farmers and crop advisors with information needed to make better and more profitable decisions.

         

    Our free weekly crop and pest advisories include:

    • AgFax Midsouth Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri.

    • AgFax Southeast Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southwest Cotton (new for 2013!), covering cotton production and news in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.

    • AgFax West (formerly MiteFax: SJV Cotton), covering California cotton, alfalfa, tomatoes and other non-permanent crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgFax Rice covering rice production and news in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

    • AgFax Peanuts, covering peanut production in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southern Grain: covering soybeans, corn, milo and small grains in Southern states.

    • AgFax Almonds, covering almonds, pistachios, walnuts and other tree crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgCom 101, providing guidance to ag professionals involved in social media.

    Our newsletters are sponsored by the following companies: FMC Corporation Chemtura Dow AgroSciences.

          

    Mission statement:

    Make it as easy as possible for our community of readers to find and/or receive needed information.

              

    Contact Information:

    AgFax Media. LLC

    142 Westlake Drive Brandon, MS 39047

    601-992-9488 Office 601-992-3503 Fax

    Owen Taylor Debra L. Ferguson Laurie Courtney

          

    Circulation Questions?

    Contact Laurie Courtney