Things to Consider in Protecting Hay from the Elements

Hay is important for farms with a large number of grazing animals, such as cattle, goats, sheep, and horses. They are used mainly as animal fodder when the pasture is not adequate or suitable for the livestock population. Similar to grain bunkers that protect grain from damage, hay barns, and hay tarps can be used to ensure hay is protected from the elements. If hay barns and tarps are not available, emergency storm tarps may be used in situations where a weather disturbance is imminent.

Hay Barn

The most ideal way to protect the hay from damage is storing them inside a hay barn. The hay can be easily stacked inside the barn. It can also be used to store farm equipment when the hay is disposed of or removed. Just like grain bunkers, they protect all sides. But there are some factors to consider when building a hay barn. The cost-effectiveness of using a hay barn is one thing. Aside from the initial capital used in building the structure, the operating cost should also be considered. It is also important to consider the location of the barn. If it is located far from the hayfield, transportation cost should also be considered. At this point, it may be advisable to consider getting hay tarps instead of building a hay barn.

Hay Tarps

Hay tarps are used mainly to protect the hay from moisture and rot that may occur if the hay is exposed to the elements. They are an economical option to hay barns since the initial cost of acquiring these tarps is not as high as building a hay barn. These tarps are typically designed to protect the hay from damage. While there are many types of tarps used to protect hay, some of them are no more than simple multi-use tarps. Hay tarps typically have roof-like designs so rainwater will run off rather than create a puddle. They are also made of durable material to protect the hay from damage. In comparison, multi-use tarps are not normally made of good quality and may be damaged after a few months of use due to ultraviolet degradation.

It is important for these tarps to stay tied down to the hay to prevent it from being lifted by the wind. When this happens, the hay will likely incur damage. Ratchets and webbing can also ensure the tarpaulin is fastened securely with minimum tie-downs on the hay. The ratchet maintains the tension needed to keep the tarpaulin from being blown away. Eyelets may not be sufficient to ensure the tarp comes off. These eyelets may end up being pulled out due to constant movement caused by strong winds. At this point, durability is a major consideration when selecting a good tarp to protect hay.

Emergency Storm Tarps

Having a suitable number of these tarpaulins is essential to protect hay is necessary. But this may be a problem if there is an excess amount of hay and a weather disturbance is quickly approaching. In these instances, it will be useful to have emergency storm tarps on hand. These sturdy and lightweight tarps are useful in areas where weather is rather unpredictable. The extra strength offered by these tarps ensure that they can suitably protect the hay and prevent any damage during a storm. They are typically used to provide temporary shelter following a severe storm where buildings and houses are heavily damaged. Since these tarps provide suitable protection to property against further damage, they may be considered whenever a hay barn or tarp is unavailable.

Hay is important to ensure livestock have a suitable source of food when the pasture area is not sufficient. This makes it essential to use hay barns, hay tarps, or emergency storm tarps to ensure they are protected from the elements.

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