Hay tarps can be attached to hay bales with ratchet straps or ropes. It is critical to ensure that the tarp is tight and secure in order to prevent the tarp from flapping in the wind. 

Make stack sizes of approximately ONE SEMI LOAD – big tarps are too hard to keep on and can blow in the wind causing tarp damage and leakage. 

Strictly ONE BALE WIDE – do not go any wider – it is too hard to keep the tarp down and creates shallow points for water to lie and soak through the tarp. 

Make stacks AS HIGH AS POSSIBLE. 8x4x3 bales should be a minimum of four high and five high if made well. The higher the stacks the less exposure, especially to bottom bales. 

Remember TARPS ARE NOT WATERPROOF, only water resistant; therefore the idea is to shed water quickly. Do not allow dips or hollows in the top where water can lay. 

PROTECT THE TOP – Cap tarp only. When you tarp the sides, it doesn’t allow hay to breathe, so if water does get in, it can’t get out. Leaving the sides open allows moisture to get out. 

PROTECT THE SIDES – Hay stack bales will naturally shed any water that runs down the sides so long as you create hay stacks with straight edges – no bale should be sticking out wider than the bale above as water can run off the tarp, down the sides and then back up through the stack via a ledge created by a bale sticking out (capillary action). 

PROTECT THE BOTTOM – Locate stacks on gentle slopes, irrigation channel banks, and gravelly or sandy ridges where water drains away quickly and does not pond around the stacks. Make sure there is good drainage on both sides. Black plastic as a ground cover can assist in protecting bottom bales from spoilage.