Canvas hay tarp

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ny_grass

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So I've got my hay guy delivering about 70 4x5 small round bales of hay in a couple of days.

They'll be stored outside on pallets covered with tarp. I've heard it said that you want a tarp to be able to breathe to limit the moisture that's trapped inside. Does anyone think it's worth the extra cost to go with canvas (looks like it'll be about $130 for 12x24 tarp! I could get a 14x48 good quality poly for about $160).

Thanks
 

Bez+

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ny_grass":2xpyjiy1 said:
So I've got my hay guy delivering about 70 4x5 small round bales of hay in a couple of days.

They'll be stored outside on pallets covered with tarp. I've heard it said that you want a tarp to be able to breathe to limit the moisture that's trapped inside. Does anyone think it's worth the extra cost to go with canvas (looks like it'll be about $130 for 12x24 tarp! I could get a 14x48 good quality poly for about $160).

Thanks

Perhaps more info than you wanted - but this all might be a bit of help for you - or someone else if they happen to read it.

Stack your bales and tie the tarp off with the bottom of the tarp about 1/2 or better down the bottom bale - do not go to the ground as it traps moisture - unless you want to grow mushrooms.

When we stack - we stack 3-2-1 and our stacks tend to be about 400 feet long - so we use multiple tarps - usually in the 75-80 foot long range.

We do not use pallets because they are a pain in the @ss to move in the winter to get to the next set of bales - the tractor tends to wreck them when they stick to the ground due to water, snow and ice - the loss is so small when stacked on decent ground that convenience of getting to the bale beats the trouble of freeing up the pallet - something folks down south do not have to deal with.

With the pallets under and the tarp only half way down the side of the bottom bale you have enough air movement.

I personally stay away from those cheap poly tarps and go with the good ones - they last for years if looked after. Pencil it out and compare the replacement costs of damaged tarps - you might want to go with more money initially.

Not advocating this company - but this stye of tarp - they can be bought at hundreds of place - closest place to you is likely your best place to buy.

http://www.inlandtarp.com/HayTarps.aspx

Lay some rope or twine or something under the pallets - or under the bottom bale if you do not use pallets

Then when you are finished piling and covering and securing those tarps - throw a few ropes over top of the pile of hay and the tarps - and secure them to the ropes you have laid UNDER the pallets - will really help you when the wind blows - trust me on this one. If you are interested we do this on every second bale when we finish securing the tarps - it ensures even a strong wind will not lift the tarp.

In your part of the world I would stack north to south so the sun hits both sides of the pile in the winter.

Bez+
 

TexasBred

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NY, I don't know if they breathe or not but BackhoeBoogie put me onto buying a "billboard tarp" off Ebay. It's just an unused billboard sign.....has the design on one side and either black or white on the other side. Made of same material as the little cheap blue things you can buy at Walmart but much more heavy duty. I believe the one I got was 16x48 ft. for about $45.....shipping was about the same amount. Put gromets in it and it's working well.
 
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ny_grass

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Bez+":224cdstb said:
Stack your bales and tie the tarp off with the bottom of the tarp about 1/2 or better down the bottom bale - do not go to the ground as it traps moisture - unless you want to grow mushrooms.

When we stack - we stack 3-2-1 and our stacks tend to be about 400 feet long - so we use multiple tarps - usually in the 75-80 foot long range.
Great, specific advice!

I just bought a spike for my tractor today; will have to put it on to see whether it'll be high enough to unload the top bale of a 3/2/1 stack. If not, I guess I'm stuck with 2/1 (or 2/2 but, that would require supports on the side and, I'd think, not be very stable). Actually, given that this is my first experience I'm not even 100% sure (people have told me it should) that my 1957 Ford 860 with a FEL will actually lift a small round bale. Maybe I could just fashion something to pull out the bottom bale - of course, that might be a tad dangerous ;-)

The problem with both is that the tarp width needed doesn't quite match up to the common sizes I see available (I'm thinking about getting one of the billboard tarps that TexasBred suggested). They come in widths of 14' or 20'. A 2/1 would require (according to my quick calculation about 16' (the tarp there is too short by 2 ft). A 3/2/1 would need 23-24' (the tarp is too long there, though I'd think too long would be better since you could take up the slack).

Bez+":224cdstb said:
We do not use pallets because they are a pain in the @ss to move in the winter to get to the next set of bales - the tractor tends to wreck them when they stick to the ground due to water, snow and ice - the loss is so small when stacked on decent ground that convenience of getting to the bale beats the trouble of freeing up the pallet - something folks down south do not have to deal with.
This link says that as much as 12" of the bottom bales can be spoiled from the hay wicking up moisture from the ground. http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare ... 716web.pdf
Unfortunately, I'm pretty wet where I am; I'll probably go with pallets (though I can definitely see them being a pain to get past).

Thanks for the info.
 
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ny_grass

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TexasBred":zry85mpu said:
NY, I don't know if they breathe or not but BackhoeBoogie put me onto buying a "billboard tarp" off Ebay. It's just an unused billboard sign.....has the design on one side and either black or white on the other side. Made of same material as the little cheap blue things you can buy at Walmart but much more heavy duty. I believe the one I got was 16x48 ft. for about $45.....shipping was about the same amount. Put gromets in it and it's working well.
I think I'm going to try Bez+'s advice and count on leaving open the bottom half of the bottom bale to ensure that everything stays dry. Plus, canvas tarps are just so much money. I looked up the billboard tarp; they look great; I'll probably be buying one; thanks for the pointer.
 

TexasBred

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ny,....we started building a pole barn for hay....got 15 creosote poles in the ground...been there for a year....I guess we're waitin' on them to take root or something. :shock:
 

gabby

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Build a shed. 1000 SF of open shed space will hold 70 bales stacked two high with room to spare. It will save you money every year by eliminating rot loss, and it will save lots of trouble at feeding time not to have to mess with tarps, pallets, etc.

If a shed is out of the question and the bales are net-wrapped grass hay, I wouldn't worry about covering them, just set them on the ground with air space on all sides.
 
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