An affordable solution for minimal hay spoilage
With the rising cost of hay, it’s more important than ever for farmers to find an affordable hay storage solution. Uncovered bales are at a greater risk for nutrient loss and mould. Storing bales in a Winkler Structure ensures this valuable asset is protected from the weather and maintains its nutrient levels.
A precious commodity
Drought and long winters have plagued parts of North America for the last few years. Successful Farming reports that in the spring of 2018, cow/calf and feedlot operators in US Midwest were running out of hay. Scorching conditions in the fall of 2017, followed by a late spring meant that pastures weren’t ready. In Missouri, some operators were taking their cattle to market due to a lack of hay.
When hay is scarce, it’s critical to protect what bales you do have. Steve Niemeyer of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources believes that “storing dry hay on the ground without cover is the worst possible storage technique.” Barry Yaremcio, beef and forage specialist with Alberta Agriculture, states that “quality losses are inevitable in hay left to sit outside in fields over winter.” Yaremcio says that “You need to do something to protect those bales from weather to optimize the use of that forage.” Rain and winter weathering reduces protein content and digestibility, and feed intake is reduced when hay is stored outside. Kevin Yaworksi, a Manitoba Agriculture forage agronomist agrees, “unprotected hay can mean lost feed quality, mould growth and bleaching. Spoilage can often cost a producer 15 percent of the hay crop in a year.”
So when baled forage constitutes the highest percentage of winter feed cost, the importance of proper storage cannot be overstated. For farmers who want to sell excess hay and alfalfa, keeping it properly stored can help them get the most money for their product.
Turn to Winkler Structures
Wide, clear spans and higher clearances are needed for safe and efficient handling of bales. With building widths up to 120’ available and any length you need, your Winkler Structures dealer will work with you to design a fabric structure that is made for your operation. Select from a wide range of door styles or opt for an open-sided building for easy accessibility with machinery. Our fabric covers are made with NovaShield Membrane Structure Fabric. The advanced UV protection coating protects the bails from extensive and damaging sun exposure and is durable enough to withstand extreme weather.
Ventilation in hay storage buildings is also important. High humidity within a hay storage building can reduce the quality of hay and cause condensation within the structure that drips onto the hay. With a Winkler Structure, you can choose your ventilation option to ensure proper air flow.
Winkler Structures can also be easily repurposed when not in use as hay storage. With the clear span design and high clearance, your hay storage building could double as equipment storage. When used for farm purposes, you may also qualify for financing.
Call for a quote
If you want to add additional storage to your farming operation, contact your nearest Winkler Structures dealer for a quote. We’re happy to arrange for an onsite consultation as well.