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Storing small squares outside


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I know anything would be better however I am going to have more hay then my shed can handle and do not have the funds available to add on. What I can afford is free pallets and a few good quality tarps. I am in MN so good covering is a must. Anyone have experience with storing little bales out doors through winter? The bale would be 12-1500 alfalfa,12-1500 meadow grass, and what ever I get from 40 acers of Sudan grass. My only options are small squares as I do not have any way to bale or move round bales, I experimented with good success selling and baling small square straight Sudan grass if it turns out to be more than I can handle I will turn it under before rye this fall. 

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Good tarps and good drainage around the stack and you should be fine. You may have to sacrifice some on the bottom layer but cheaper than a building, plus makes good compost.

I've tarped big squares with no problems.

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There used to be many hay barns around here that had no sides, just a roof. 3000+ bales is a good sized stack. I don’t know if this is all hand labor or an accumulator or other? If it is stacked tight and covered well I would think it would be fine, but not ideal as you already stated. I used to haul a lot of small squares with an old Dew Eze hay mobale. I delivered to a horse barn that had a structure like described earlier, roof and no sides. I used to stack about 1500 bales there and with even what I would describe as decent help I have had the corner of that stack fall off because they didn’t have it tight enough. Good small square hay help here is non existent and people who know how to stack square bales are even more rare. Just make sure it is tight. 

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I’ve put on ground and used pallets, pallets is better, find a level spot that drains away and stack bottom course on the edge then flat for others, we used to leave a few rows down the center on the top to create a little peak, use good tarps, over lap the seams away from your prevailing winds, and tie old tires on the sides for weight, if water gets in it’s like an upside down funnel and can spoil a lot

If you don’t need all maybe you could sell now to some drought areas, gets rid of your spoilage risk

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done it 2 years,barn /storage was cheaper in the end.

3 layers of pallets,roof/top must be pitched,lots of solid tie offs (in top) 20% overlap on seems.

expect a 20% >loss  tarps are $700 +   they will need drained adjusted and re set after every rain or wind 15 mph

for round bales   (at least here)  it is still a daily process and 2yr on the $1K + china %&(^)*(&)*()&_++)_^)_) !!!!! tarps

they do shed drain and tie down 70% better

good luck

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Personally I'd do the biggest stacks you can under one tarp check out used billboards for tarps.... But depending on Your location selling semi truck loads west may be a viable option as to not have to store it. 

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When she had horses we stacked on pallets under the car port tarp deals we bought on Craigslist, worked very well, just don let the snow build up

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I would put them on pallets, no tarp on the pallets for air flow up through, pyramid stack the bales on top for a "Peak" when you tarp............Use a billboard tarp and tie off tight to the pallets.  You won't loose them in the wind, I tarp alot of my stuff here since I am out of room too, with good heavy plastic twine from big squares and billboard tarps, they don't blow, even in winds that take down trees.

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tie the rope to the inside rail on the outside row of pallets and use the rope to tie the tarp . Do the same on the ends of the stack and fold the tarp like wrapping a Christmas present and tie off also

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If you have semi soft ground you might want to stack the pallets two high as they will sink some. Alternate direction to get it bridged together just like stacking bales in alternating directions

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2 hours ago, Youngred2000 said:

Thank you everyone for the response. The spot of the stack is on well drained sand I am hoping to only have to do this the one year. 

I would stack on edge… I think it will be easier on the twine… but maybe it’s just me??‍♂️

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Yikes 40 acres of sudangrass in small bales.  My estimate is 6000 to 8000 small bales would come off of that here if managed correctly in a multi cut system.  Maybe more.

Lots of good ideas.  I like plastic twine for small bales.  Specifically the 9600/170.  I like the idea of edge stacking at least the bottom/ and 2skids high to get it good and off the ground even when the pallets settle.  I wouldn't be surprised if the bottom row doesn't still take a beating and depending on tarp quality that there isn't sun bleaching.  Of course if your feeding it that doesn't matter but if your selling it they will hit you in the wallet.  

 

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Every square bale I have ever stacked has been on edge. I guess I thought this was the norm? I had a lot of old timers tell me it would get hot if stacked flat. Most of the small squares that I ever hauled was for others as I had a pretty good hay crew at one time. I was never at a barn where I would have been allowed to stack it flat. I never tried it any other way. Do others on here have experience with that? Works good? Maybe it is just a regional preference. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone told me the only way to do a job and I found it later it was more of a preference than a necessity. Dealing with this many bales, I’m glad it’s you and not me. I’m not as energetic as I was 20 years ago. 

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On edge so the mice won't eat the strings, cut side down. If you are using pallets, is this all by hand? I use a bale wagon for 100 tons a year, not this year. DROUGHT!!!!! I tarp mine, about 6 ft down the sides

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I should have said every bale of hay I hauled was stacked on edge. One guy I hauled about 10,000 bales for every year would bale 2,500 or so bales of straw. We did a lot of experimenting on the best way to stack to keep the mice from chewing the strings. They always broke more straw bales than grass. We decided they didn’t break as many bales if the straw was stacked flat. I never loaded it out of the barn, just put it in. So I had to take his word for it. Any straw we bale anymore is wire tied only. I know that the mice can’t break that!

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As of now it will be hand stacked however I am going to be looking for a bale wagon as I am getting fed up with trying to make 45-55lb bales of fluffy grass that stay square for horse people. My baler makes a beautiful 60-70 lb brick however the horse people are too picky and seam to care more about bale shape then contents  and they don't like the big bales cause they are too heavy for them weaklings and the baler makes a good 50# bale however they get bent out of shape when they hit the rack sides and most stay crooked no matter how much I try. 

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Dry hay is good to go IF it is dry. Other than bottom bales like cobfly stated everything is flat. 

I had about a 100 oat bales that got in a back corner of the barn part of it 6 years part 5 years old. Doors to get in both ends, but only gravel to the front. Yes the mice had been in them but much better than I expected. Part was in wire, the rest plastic string. As many rusted wires that broke as sting chewed. Being 3 wire or string 90% stayed together to haul out and feed. But I make them tight when baled.

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You western guys are living the dream...................don't have to worry as much about rain windows or humidity like here..................Old school Proper stack if going on side is cut edge up, salt sprinkled on that:lol:    We stacked all our hay this way growing up and salted it.  Some guys here had duct work and fans in the barn............still salted it.  Made good feed.

Most of the time with grass hay, that got stacked strings to the floor, as it was almost always dry unlike anything with alfalfa in it that we did the above to............Mice would chew them either way they were stacked here, and we stacked straw this way too...................Hauled them this way rather than on edge as well.  

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Always cut edge up for us , lets it dry some after it is put up. We had tunnel and fans down state where I grew up. Our climate dictates some of the practices needed for success 

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