Skip to Content

Proper Hay Storage Key In Making Most Of Crop

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Proper Hay Storage Key In Making Most Of Crop

Proper hay storage is one of the most important things farmers can do to save their crops and make the most of their investments.

That’s according to Warren County Agricultural Extension Agent Heath Nokes. Nokes said that many times he sees hay stored outside or improperly in barns, which can lead to a crop loss of up to 37 percent.

“So that’s nearly 40 percent of what you went and pulled soil samples for,” Nokes said. “Spent money on fertilizer for, invested heavily in fertilizer equipment, to just lost.”

Nokes said that improper storage of hay can lead to hay fires as well. He said that hay has the potential to heat itself to up to 140 degrees when certain moisture and bacteria conditions are present.

“You’ve heard of compost going through a heat if you will,” Nokes said. “. It’s kind of the same process. The temperature gets up there and the bacteria in the heat in the hay makes it go up in temperature. Then it reaches a certain temperature, and it cures.”

Nokes recommends a temperature probe to keep tabs on any temperature increase.

Nokes said one of the most common mistakes when it comes to the heating process is baling the hay and putting it in the barn too quickly. He said when it comes to general storage, the mistake is people do not recognizing the amount of hay that could be lost due to improper storage.

“(Farmers think)’I’ve got this herd here, so I’m going to just put this hay right here’” Nokes said. “But then you don’t think about the loss you’re incurring. That you’re actually having to feed more hay because you have losses.”

Nokes said hay storage has become incredibly easy through the Tennessee Ag Enhancement Program. He said that they have a special program specifically for hay storage that can give up to $5,000 every other year as a cost-share for farmers to help construct barns for hay storage.


The post Proper Hay Storage Key In Making Most Of Crop appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.