In order to have hay available all year long, you’ll need to store it in a dry, safe place. Losing hay due to improper storage is an expensive mistake that you simply can’t afford to make—that’s why we’ve created a list of the best hay storage ideas. Explore your top options below!
At American Steel Carports, Inc., we offer a selection of affordable metal structures that are perfect for hay storage and other items. Design your structure with our Build & Price Tool, view a 3D rendering, and receive an instant quote!
Three Key Considerations
Before you can make any decisions on where you will store your hay, you need to keep three key points in mind:
- Flammability. Always remember the safety aspect of storing hay on your property. Hay is highly flammable as it dries out—especially during the middle of a hot summer—so it should not be stored near items that could be dangerous in a fire, such as tanks of gasoline. While wood barns have traditionally been used for hay storage, they are sure to be a casualty if a fire breaks out. On the other hand, metal structures like those offered by American Steel Carports, Inc. are not flammable and can work to reduce your overall risk.
- Size of the bales. How large are your hay bales going to be once they’re bundled? The answer to this question depends on the size of your farm and the capabilities of your equipment. If you’re going to be storing large bales that weigh 1,000 pounds or more, your storage building will need a big enough door for heavy-duty equipment to come and go. On the other hand, small square bales are light enough to be loaded and unloaded by hand.
- The right location. Before selecting a new storage building, look around your property to determine where that building will live. The ideal spot will be on higher ground to stay away from flooding issues after heavy rains. It should also be easily accessed by your vehicles so that retrieving bales doesn’t become an unnecessary hassle.
Water is the Enemy
Your main goal when storing hay is to keep it dry. That starts by keeping it under a roof, such as a metal carport or farm shed. With the hay protected from above, you then need to think about how to keep water away from below.
There is always some amount of water in or on the ground, and it can seep into the hay, which destroys the lower bales. To avoid this outcome, keep the hay just slightly above ground level. You can build a simple platform using materials you may already have on your property, such as old tires or wood pallets.
Create a Storage System
You’ll want to use your oldest hay first when pulling a bale out of your storage building. With that in mind, make life easier on yourself by placing the new bales in the back so the bales in the front will be the old ones.
In addition, as you design and order your new hay storage structure, keep this system in mind when placing the doors. For instance, if you have a large garage door on both sides of the new metal barn, it will be easy to put new bales in on one side and pull old bales from the other.
Think About Weather Patterns
As you place your hay in storage or plan the construction of a new building, you’ll want to think about how the weather behaves in your area. This is particularly important when the bales won’t be stored completely indoors, even if they do have a roof for protection. A metal carport makes for a nice storage facility, but it may be open on the sides and exposed to some rain or snow.
If that’s the case, use tarps to protect the hay from the elements. A quality tarp that’s free from holes and tied down firmly will do an excellent job of blocking out unwanted water.
A Long-Term Investment
Producing quality hay is an expensive endeavor. Growing, harvesting, and storing your hay requires both time and money, so you want to preserve as much of it as possible. When you purchase a sturdy metal structure from American Steel Carports, Inc., you’ll be investing in the long-term well-being of your farm. Keeping your hay inside and dry should dramatically reduce how much is wasted as compared to storing the hay outside.
Purchase a Metal Structure from American Steel Carports, Inc.
We hope you consider these hay storage ideas! To get started creating your new metal structure, explore our many customizable options with our Build & Price. If you have any questions about our products, give us a call right away for assistance. We look forward to serving you!