,
,
 

Stacking Bales

 
  From the July 9, 2018 Issue of Agri-News
Subscribe to our free E-Newsletter, "Agri-News" (formerly RTW This Week)Agri-News
This Week
     Agri-News HomeAgri-News Home
 
 
 
 When it comes to stacking bales, a little forethought can go a long way to ensure a better product. Barry Yaremcio, beef and forage specialist at the Alberta Ag-Info Centre explains why some methods are better than others.

“Storage losses from improperly stacked bales can be anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent of the dry matter yield while protein and energy losses can be anywhere from five to ten per cent,” says Yaremcio. “It takes a lot of time and money to put up a good quality hay, so why risk losing 10 to 15 per cent of your productivity by just not stacking the bales properly?”

Before bringing the bales home, Yaremcio recommends mowing the grass that is already present in the feed yard. “This helps reduce a lot of the moisture and soil-to-bale contact, and it helps prevent bottom spoilage. If possible store the bales in a high area, so the bales don’t end up sitting in water after a rain.”

Leave two to three feet between the rows of bales, and stack them from northwest to southeast to allow the prevailing winds to blow through them. Says Yaremcio, “This space allows the wind to blow the snow from between the bales, so the snow doesn’t melt and water accumulate between the bales come spring.”

Different methods for stacking bales in the field can affect their quality.

The pyramid style - with three bales on the bottom, two in the middle, and one on the top – is the poorest way to stack hay, according to Yaremcio. “When it rains or when the snow melts, all the moisture moves from the top down between the bales and through the stack. It causes spoilage wherever the bales contact each other.”

The mushroom stack - with the flat side of the bottom bale flat on the ground and the second one on top - is better than the pyramid but still will end up with a lot damage, says Yaremcio. “The best method, however, if you have the space, is to put single bales in rows with the individual bales separated by about six to ten inches so they don’t touch.”

If using a tarp, leave the ends open so air can blow between the tarp and bales. “Build the stack so it aligns with the prevailing wind. That way, the wind can carry any moisture away that has evaporated out of the bales and condensed on the inside of the tarp away from the bales so before it drops back onto the bales and causes damage,” adds Yaremcio.

For more information, call the Alberta Ag-Info Centre at 310-FARM (3276).

Contact:
Alberta Ag-Info Centre
310-FARM (3276)

 
 
 
 
view Agri-News RSS FeedAgri-News RSS Feed      Share via AddThis.com

,
view Agri-News RSS FeedAgri-News RSS Feed      Share via AddThis.com

For more information about the content of this document, contact Barry Yaremcio.
This document is maintained by Christine Chomiak.
This information published to the web on June 25, 2018.