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Which hay storage option is best for you?

Published on 30 July 2010

Iowa State University (ISU) Extension economist William Edwards said a new decision aid for comparing the costs of different hay storage options is now available on ISU Extension’s Ag Decision Maker (ADM) website. Several types of cost are considered in the analysis, he said. Initial investments in storage structure, tarps, gravel and pallets are amortized over their individual expected lives.

Annual costs such as repairs, insurance and property taxes are part of the spreadsheet, as are estimated labor costs for storing and feeding the hay. And, the estimated value of spoilage losses under each system is considered.

“Users will need to enter the expected volume of hay to be produced or that’s needed, current hay prices and the size of bales they use,” Edwards said. “For each method, a total annual cost is calculated, which includes spoilage losses and the tons of hay available to feed or sell.”

The Excel-based spreadsheet “Hay Storage Cost Comparison" is available for viewing and download on the ADM website at www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/crops/xls/a1-15haystoragecost.xls.

--From Iowa State University Extension news release

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