Skip to main content

Logo for N.C. Cooperative Extension N.C. Cooperative Extension Homepage

Round Bale Storage

en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Date:  June 7, 2021
Agent:  Damon Pollard

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock agent with The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke center. Today’s topic is Round Bale Storage.

With cost per ton of hay increasing, proper round bale storage is critical to survival. Round bales have allowed producers great labor savings, but have presented many storage problems. Dry matter losses can vary from 2 to 52% on bales stored outside. A 1-inch loss on the outer surface of a 5 to 6 ft. round bale is about 5 %. On average the surface loss is 4 inches, or 20% of the bale, or one out of every five bales. One inch of rain equals 22.4gals. of water falling on a 6×6 round bale. In an area receiving 30 inches of rain during the hay storage period, this equates to 650 gallons falling on one round bale. While we spend our days praying for rain, it would be tragic to let it spoil our short winter feed sources.

There are many options to limit storage losses. Always stack hay in a well-drained area. Stacking on gravel pads, pallets, old tires or cross ties help to limit wicking from ground moisture. Avoid stacking under trees, and line bales north and south to maximize sunlight exposure. If stacking bales individually, leave 18 inches between bales, or 3 feet between rows, to allow passage of sunlight and wind currents. Covering with tarps or plastic can greatly reduce losses, if done properly, however, they can also increase losses if you’re not careful. Use a thick high quality covering, and anchor it solidly to resist wind damage. Leave room for condensation to escape, and repair any tears or holes promptly.

By properly storing round-baled hay, producers can maximize forage quality and realize considerably more return on the costs of hay making for their operations.

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock agent with The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke center. If you would like more information call us at 764-9480.