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Why is it that producers accept losing 25% or more of theur forage becuase they refuse to manage it?
Perhaps some of you can help me to understand.... or get the message across that, "doesn't have to be"

I get across the country in my travels and see lots of operations. And in recent years the drought has greatly impacted forage availability and quality. And producers are complaining they don't have enought feed for their cattle and/or are complaining that forage costs to much to buy.

Yet, when we take a drive around their farm, what do i see. Feed piles (haylage, corn silage or some other fermented feeds) that are NOT covered and horribly managed!

There are numerous, to many to count, studies that prove without any argument that covering a forage pile (properly) pays for itself many time over. And in addition to the cost of the lost feed, there is the cost of lost gain by feeding the "crap/rotten" feed that is on the top and edges!

I've read articles that show producers are losing greater then 25% of their feed by failing to cover and manage a pile of feed.

So, i again ask, why do producer refuse to do anything about it? Let's all work together to help ourselves.

What would your operation be able to do with 25% more feed???
 

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What do you mean failing to cover a silage pile, you mean the face as they feed it out? Depending on the style of bunker/tube and number of head a high feedout rate can result in low spoilage, I'm not sure but I think the freezing temps here in the winter sort of limit the spoilage at the face, it freezes pretty quickly.

Its mostly individually wrapped bales here for sileage, probably better than 3/4 of dairy and beef operations. For the rest, inline tube wrapping, some bagging, a couple of old silos still in use. Lots of old bunkers but none of them with silage in them nowadays.
 

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Full of questionable knowledge.
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My operation does not waste feed. I do not have animals so I see everything. All my hay is stored fully inside. Fully enclosed hay barns pay for themselves in a very short time. As short as just a couple of years in my area. For small bales I can get 2 dollars more a bale when it's stored inside then outside. Even if there hasn't been any moisture or anything to hurt outside hay (horsey people are kinda silly sometimes about outside vs stored inside hay). My one hay barn over the season usually stores about 15,000 small bales.. So that's $30,000 in extra money for having the building. So in two years that's $60,000. Nevermind the depreciation for the cost of the building. And no wasted bottom, top or side bales that you either have to give away or drastically reduce price to move. I'm now moving into doing 3x3x8 bales and I'm not sure how much per bale or ton the buildings make me on those bales yet. Maybe in a couple of years I will know more on that. All that I know is it sure helps sell them quicker.
 

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Hay Master
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An old saying: There's not enough time to do it right the first time, but there's always time to do it over.

And another saying: Take the time it takes and it'll take less time.

A lot of people I know simply are trying to take short cuts, thinking they'll get around to it. But they never do.

One guy I know has at least 100 round bales all pushed together and stacked helter-skelter 3-4 bales high. No covers. no drainage. The wastage has to be at least 1/3, if not more. He has time to mow, rake, bale and haul it as much as 10 miles. But he won't take the time to store it, even in rows or under tarps.

And he wonders why he can't get ahead!

Ralph
 

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I agree with Ralph.....managing feed sources is like everything else in this country....some people care and some people care less. After seeing how this country voted last election Anderson, why are you surprised by complacency and stupidity?

Regards, Mike
 

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We actually put two layers of plastic on our trench silos this year. We always cover and fully tire ours as soon as we are done filling even if it is in the late night early morning. Takes the same number of man hours to cover right away as it does the next day. Only time I will stop the process of covering silage or picking up hay out of field is for saftey reasons. Lightning or fatigue. Money will not replace people.
 

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I have also heard the theory that the cost of covering (in this case silage) is more than what the feed value losses are by not covering.

I'd rather take the time, spend the coin, and have all good feed to deal with.

two layers of plastic on our trench silos this year
We did this once or twice and quit. Too much work for no obvious gain. Most important thing is to weight (tires or whatever) the plastic as completely as possible.
 

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One guy I know has at least 100 round bales all pushed together and stacked helter-skelter 3-4 bales high. No covers. no drainage. The wastage has to be at least 1/3, if not more. He has time to mow, rake, bale and haul it as much as 10 miles. But he won't take the time to store it, even in rows or under tarps.

Ralph
I see that all the time.Hay stacked up outside.IDK how many times I've told people to put it in single rows,it will keep better!Most will reply that it takes up to much room.

It's like people just have a thing about having to stack the hay up.


Rd Bales
 

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I see that all the time.Hay stacked up outside.IDK how many times I've told people to put it in single rows,it will keep better!Most will reply that it takes up to much room.

It's like people just have a thing about having to stack the hay up.


Rd Bales
Maybe they like the idea of a hay stack? Or saying I have hay stacks of hay?
 

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If round bale are stacked here, its tarped. Has to be or it won't make it to winter without massive mold throughout the bales.

We tried stacking and tarping small squares outside one of the first years haying, on pallets. At least 50% loss and had to fight with tarps all winter. Pulling 200 lb blocks of hay/ice that are frozen to 3 other similar blocks is not fun. I had to tarp a load this summer for 3 weeks while I was away, so I backed it into a shed. The front 18" stuck out which I never thought about but the tarp got a small tear. When I got back the first 50 bales on the trailer had be thrown out. The white and black mold and mushrooms growing under the tarp were unbelievable.
 

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Hay Master
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.......but the tarp got a small tear. When I got back the first 50 bales on the trailer had be thrown out. The white and black mold and mushrooms growing under the tarp were unbelievable.
I bought some tarps the from the local Farm and Home the first year I did small squares. The tarps lasted two months! I lost over 1400 bales and was I tic'ed!! The "outside" rated tarps deteriorated due to UV light.

I will never, ever, ever shop for anything at that Farm & Home!

Ralph
 

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I HATE seeing hay stacked outside in a pyramid shape without cover. Moisture runs right down into the crevices where the upper bales meet the lower. I know it's their business, but man...
 

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An old saying: There's not enough time to do it right the first time, but there's always time to do it over.

And another saying: Take the time it takes and it'll take less time.

A lot of people I know simply are trying to take short cuts, thinking they'll get around to it. But they never do.

One guy I know has at least 100 round bales all pushed together and stacked helter-skelter 3-4 bales high. No covers. no drainage. The wastage has to be at least 1/3, if not more. He has time to mow, rake, bale and haul it as much as 10 miles. But he won't take the time to store it, even in rows or under tarps.

And he wonders why he can't get ahead!

Ralph
A hay broker i know says these are the guys who ruin the market for round bales . Here in the east there is not a market for hay stored outside.
 

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Hay Master
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Round bales stored outside uncovered east of the Mississippi river are referred to as "Compost Piles"
 

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I see a lot of farms tip one round bail on the flat side, and then stack a round on top. What's up with that?

I made a mistake this year and line up my rounds outside, too close together. Boy, chiseling the net wrap off them has been a nightmare!
 

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I see a lot of farms tip one round bail on the flat side, and then stack a round on top. What's up with that?

I made a mistake this year and line up my rounds outside, too close together. Boy, chiseling the net wrap off them has been a nightmare!
Some think the top bale sheds the water for the bottom bale.Actually the water follows around the top bale and soaks into the bottom bale.If left that way lonng enough the bottom bale will be shit.Here it works fairly well threw the winter till spring rains.So alot of guys stack around the cattle yards to make a windbreak and use them up by spring,usually cornstalk bales for bedding.The top bale will be in very good shape,bottom bale not so good.

Another reason is the netwrap don't freeze to the ground when stacking toadstool style.Bare ground and netwrap over winter can be disaster if alot of freezing and thawing of snow it will freeze down.Stack on sod or a layer of shreded stalks and it isn't a issue.
 

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Hay Master
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Joe I think it was mlappin suggested to lift bale up with fel to the top and drop it off letting it bounce on the ground to breakup the ice. Martin
 

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Have a guy around here as well, stacks three high in a pyramid then never covers them, year after year of piles of moldy rotten hay and you'd think he'd catch on? I think he just likes playing with his manure spreader when he has to haul all that rotten crap off.

ALL hay for sale here is stored inside, maybe some cow hay under tarps as well. Most cow hay stored in rows outside end to end and I use the backhoe to shove em together tight as possible.

Been grinding all my hay now and I have less waste in a few weeks than I used to have in a day.
 
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Senior Member
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We have put up outside stacks and tarped with the expensive hay tarps. If done correct, this method can work very well. First year I thought I know a little more than the tarp manufacturer. Soon found out I was not very smart. If done to their specs, we were able to sell 90% of non bottom bales as horse hay or straw. 80% of the bottom we were able to use for cows. A few minor mistakes and these percentages can go the wrong way quick. Having said this we bulit a 96' by 120' hay shed this passed spring. That along with several bank barns we still had about 4000 small bales in outside stack. Outside stack was all mulch hay and looks to be in good shape.
 
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