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#1 mfwalker



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Posted 05 September 2012 - 04:31 PM

Hello Hay Folks,

Im going to run out of barn space with may last cutting. Just wondering if anyone has tried storing small square bales under tarps for any lenght of time? If so, what were the positive and negatives you encountered. Thanks

#2 JD3430


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Posted 05 September 2012 - 04:55 PM

I've only done rounds. I had some problems with condensation. Not sure if I'm correct, but my guess is the bales' exothermic action causes sweat on the inside of the tarp.
They still seem to be fresh looking despite a little moisture.

#3 carcajou


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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:34 PM

Moisture under the tarp(s) can be a problem but here is a trick i learned to help. Run a row of bales on edge end to end right down the middle of your stack and then tarp,leaving the ends open. If wind is a concern tie the tarp down well. This allows moisture to escape and rain runs off the tarp better.
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#4 Feed Hay

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 06:26 PM

Those of you that use hay tarps, what company do you buy from?

#5 JD3430


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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:03 PM

Home depot.....lol

#6 Teslan


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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:12 PM

Better then no tarps in my opinion. But in this area rain tends to rain sideways (when we get it). Same with snow. I've never tarped as I never have run out of space inside the buildings.

#7 NewBerlinBaler


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Posted 05 September 2012 - 11:20 PM

Best place to buy tarps is FarmTek: FarmTek.com or 800.327.6835. They have a large selection of sizes and are made of durable material. Also bought two 16'x20' tarps from the local Tractor Supply store this year for $60/each. They are holding up well.

Those cheap blue tarps from the big box stores are worthless and will disintegrate after a few months in the weather

Last year, we stored 31 1,000-lb round bales under a giant (50'x100') tarp. The bales were on pallets to keep them off the ground and the tarp completely covered the bales. The tarp was touching the ground on all four sides of the stack. The bales were stored from mid July until the winter. When we uncoverd them, they looked & smelled like they were just baled.

That large tarp was too heavy to manuver so this year we purchased a 20'x48' tarp from FarmTek and the two smaller tarps from Tractor Supply. We currently have 44 1,000-lb round bales under the three tarps. The bales are once again on pallets but the new tarps only go about half way down the sides of the bales. The bottom one third of the bales gets rained on. Hopefully they dry out with the air circulation. In a few months, we'll see how well they held up.

#8 Canderson012


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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:23 PM

I like to use the 40x100 or 50x100 white on black plastic tarps. You have to make sure the bales are dry or they will go through the sweat cycle. Since these are square bales I recommend you laying down pallets first then stacking square. If you don't have cheap/free access to pallets don't worry about it.

#9 slowzuki


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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:28 PM

We stacked about 1000 squares on pallets one year and tarped. We had two 40 x50 tarps that went to the ground. Not thinking we lapped the joint about 6 feet.

We got spoilage of the bottom layer (learned if we had added a sheet of plastic under the pallets it would have been ok. The bigger problems, we had massive spoilage at the lap joint from water running in on teh flat, lost about 300 bales or more. The other big problem was wind, we tied poles to the sides to keep them weighted down. That didn't work well, so we added old tractor tires to the tarps which was a pain in winter as they froze full of water to the tarps. We lastly laid poles evenly over the entire stack to keep the tarp down.

If I was convinced to do it again I would pitch the top layers, steeply. I would probably buy truck tarps with extra ties and rachet strap them down to the pallets. If at all possible, I would buy a tarp building and erect that over the hay stack instead.

#10 DKFarms


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Posted 16 September 2012 - 09:06 PM

I started tarping overflow square bales and round bales 2 years ago. Round bales are on the ground in a pyramid shape with a 1 foot gap between the tarp and ground and the ends left open. Squares are placed on 5 hay wagons I built specifically for this purpose. The wagon tarps are tied off on the wagon frame leaving the entire underneath of the wagon open to allow air circulation. So far, no loss of round bales and only a few bad squares on the bottom layer. The real pain is tying all this stuff down. It takes hours, alot of help, alot of rope, alot of pipes, big hammers, and lots of beer to cover this stuff properly. And when you take a few bales out, the tarps need "grooming" again to shed water properly. Lord, please send me 2 acres to build a hay barn and load-out yard. :-)

I buy old billboard tarps from the local advertising companys. I usually pay about $35 for a 28'x40' tarp. They are super strong, last about 4 years, can be cut and spliced with vinyl cement, and are heavy which is a pain to handle but a plus in windy conditions. We spread the tarp out on the ground first then run the pallet forks underneath it, accumulating everything on the forks. Then we pick it up even with the top of the stack and two guys drag it off onto the stack. All in all, it's a really sucky way to store hay but when it's all you got you have to step up to the plate. Lord? Did you read the previous paragraph???

#11 Nitram


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Posted 16 September 2012 - 09:38 PM

Hello Hay Folks,

Im going to run out of barn space with may last cutting. Just wondering if anyone has tried storing small square bales under tarps for any lenght of time? If so, what were the positive and negatives you encountered. Thanks

That is a great problem to have!!! :)

#12 Guest_TerraNova_*

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:14 PM

Yes, a slope on the tarp is essential for drainage and ventilation. Keep the tarp snug to reduce wind damage. A loose tarp is more likely to lose grommets. It will rub on the "eave" of the stack and wear out. I tied tarps to the small square twines or steel rods pushed into the bales, then came back in a few days to tighten it. I remember tarping bales one windy evening about 20 years ago. My wife helped me with the fight. Even so, the hardware store tarp tore down the middle. That did it. I had a nice shed built the next spring. That shed along with the two older ones have enough space so I only tarp part piles in one of the older sheds.

#13 hay rake

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:46 AM

we tarp a lot of hay and lost a lot learning how to do it. first there are a lot of good ideas already posted but here is my take just to confuse you more. first is the tarp it self. you want a good quality tarp that blocks light and covers the complete top of your pile. NO grommets they will rip out no matter what you do. buy a tarp that has pipe pockets on at least two sides four are preferable. if your pile is to wide to cover from ground to ground with one tarp make sure that your top tarp hangs down three to four feet on each side. the raised center is a good idea on the top. now at this point if your top tarp does not cover your sides you will want to hang side sheets. you do this by running straps across the top of the pile and hanging the side sheets from them. now where i should have started is,as you build your pile you run straps under it to hold the tarps down. by doing this unless the whole pile flies away the tarp tie down never comes loose. also when making your pile at two or three layers from the bottom you want to make this layer a little wider than the rest of the pile so it makes like a roof eve to protect the bottom outside bales. once you have your tarps hung use ratchet straps to go from pipe to cross straps. at this point you will see why you want pipe not grommets. we also stack on raised pads with underlay to keep the bottom dry. you can buy tarps on line from rocky meadow farm or inland tarp. we are buying from a local tarp shop with a better product at less cost. this method is more costly than others but for us the hay comes out looking like it did when it went in. hope this helps gary
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