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Hay bale storage losses

An extension livestock specialist says cattle producers need to be on the lookout for outdoor round bale storage losses and work to prevent them.

“Some of the losses that can occur on our bales can occur from sunlight, rain, snow and ice, evaporation, as well as things happening on the soil and ground when it comes in contact with these hay bales,” James Humphrey, in Northwest Missouri’s Andrew County, says stacking bales can cause problems, “I understand why they’re doing it. But we’re probably getting much more losses on this than what we think we are when we’re leaving a lot of these faces being open on these bales.”

Humphrey says there can be significant decreases in nutrient values. And that can mean extra feeding costs for a 100-head operation,

“IF you have a 20% loss now we need 303 bales to get the same quality and feed volume, nutrient volume, that we were in this after we take the losses off.”

He says that’s 61 additional large round bales at a cost of more than $3-Thousand dollars. He says most people wrapping dry hay are having good success with black plastic as opposed to the white.

Humphrey was a featured speaker on the recent MU Extension Forage Town Hall.

Hear James Humphrey’s presentation

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