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Rained on bales


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11 replies to this topic

#1 bunchgrass1

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:50 AM

Hey all,

I've got a few hundred sm square bales of grass hay that got rained on last night - pretty decent downpour. How long do you let bales dry out before moving them into storage? Do I need to roll the bales over to let the bottoms dry a bit as well? My hay crew decided that they had better things to do and left me high and dry. So I was hauling in by myself - not for the faint of heart!

Thanks for your replys.

#2 stevemsinger

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 12:08 PM

Not sure about that one. Never had it happen to me. I guess I would break one open and see how far in the moisture penetrated. Depending on how bad it is, I might consider busting them open and spreading them out and re-baling. If it is not that bad, I would do as you are talking about and flip them till they are dry. Sorry about your crew. I use mostly my son's and some of their friends, less chance of them leaving you high and in this case wet.

#3 Lazy J

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 12:56 PM

put those bales in a big pile and light it on fire!!! The bales will be full of mold, will heat, and probably won't be fit for consumption.

I had three bales sitting by the horse pen this weekend when we received 1" of rain. In a mere 24 hours all three bales were hot, and mold had already started to grow.

Jim

#4 mlappin

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 01:49 PM

I agree with Steve, break a few open, see how far in they got wet. If you want to save it, the only thing may be to break em open and get it spread out.

We had a neighbor that gave us several hundred bales like that once. his bale wagon broke and he wasn't about to pick em up by hand. Rained that night and some more the next day so it had plenty of time to soak in. Had maybe a inch total, but after they laid there several days before he gave em to us, some of them got so warm I could feel them thru the soles of my shoes while walking on the stacked hay on the wagon. Not too mention they were at least a hundred pound bales if not 120 with all that extra water.

#5 mulberrygrovefamilyfarm

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 03:19 PM

A friend who swears that you can stand them on end to dry them out if they were pretty much a layer or so down on the rack/wagon.

#6 nwfarmer

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 04:34 PM

After a couple of days I check the moisture in the bales. A big problem is the bottom if the ground is still wet. Rolling them helps. If they are tight bales, and the ground is dry below I would bet you could stack them in a few days. You need to check the moisture though. It has happened to me before. It also happened to me last night. If it rains for several days on the bales it will be a problem.

#7 Rodney R

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 07:53 PM

I guess a lot of it depends on where you're at, and the weather conditions. We had quite a few that were baled dry, and then got wet till they made it to the shed. The absolute worst thing you can do is pick them up too early, and set them on a pile. I would let them get dry, since you can't pick wet bales anyway, and maybe flip them over if they've gotten damp from the ground - let them sit a few hours in the sun, and pick them. We've broken quite a few stacks apart, and spread a bunch of bales out all over the floor this year. Not very nice work, but that sort of thing has to be done right away, since the mold will only wait a few hours.

Rodney

#8 nwfarmer

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:59 AM

I think you are right. It does depend on what part of the country you are in. We get a lot of wind with our storms. After it rained yesterday the wind blew about 40 mph the rest of the day. That wind not only dries the field but also the hay bales in the field. Since we irrigate our ground is quite dry unless we get a real heavy rain. I use a NH1033 stack wagon and if the bales are wet they don't load very well. I roll some bales and check moisture. I cut a couple open yesterday after the rain and looks like I can stack today.

#9 bunchgrass1

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 09:30 AM

Thanks for the responses.

Usually, we get summer T-storms that pass through quickly w/ not so much real moisture but this time we've had a pretty good rain (by western standards).

On a positive note, it's supposed to warm up rapidly over the next few days but of course then another round of T-storms is imminent.

Anyone ever put salt on layers of damp bales when they stack? What's that supposed to do, does it work, and how much to apply? I do know guys used to apply anhydrous ammonia as a bale preservative for hay that was baled wet - a little scary with the N levels etc. (and cost).

Thanks again.

#10 okhillbilly

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:24 AM

I've heard of guys air stacking hay before. Sounds like a lot of work spacing the bales just right so the stack don't fall. I just throw hay all over the floor of the barn if we get rained on while getting it up. Let it dry for a week before stacking and turning some if possible. I've also seen square bales out in the field for months sometimes. I'm sure that been rained on. I wonder if they intend to use it or just leave it there to rot and mow the hay field next year with the bales where they are ?

#11 nwfarmer

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 08:40 AM

We don't have a barn to store hay. We store outside and cover with tarps. We discount ground bales. As we sell the hay we stack the ground bales 2 one way and 2 the other about 8 high leaving room for air between. I just opened up a last years ground bale that was really dark brown on the outside. The inside was still nice and green and dry. Those ground bales get rained on all year, plus snowed on.

#12 nwfarmer

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 08:45 AM

I might add I don't restack the ground bales once they are stacked 2 by 2. Restacking can cause real problems by choking off air movement to the wet areas.




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