Researchers at North CarolinaStateUniversity compared five storage methods for storing round bales of second-cutting grass hay, looking at loss of quality and dry matter along with storage costs. They baled the hay during August and stored it for seven or 15 months. Storage methods were:

  • On the ground, uncovered
  • On pallets, uncovered
  • On the ground, covered with tarp
  • On pallets, covered with tarp
  • Barn-stored.

Crude protein increased slightly in each method except the barn-stored during the seven- to 15-month period. Not surprisingly, loss of dry matter was highest in the two uncovered methods and increased for all methods from seven to 15 months, except for the bales on covered pallets. Overall cost for usable hay in this study was lowest for the two outside covered methods, and covered outside storage was most economical whether or not the bales were on pallets.