Tag Archives: hay tarps

Moldy Hay – Why Hay Covers Are A Farmer’s Best Friend

hay-tarps-coverLivestock owners know the symptoms of moldy hay. The hay smells musty, throws off dust when broken apart, and may even contain the tell-tale black or gray mold spores in the middle of the bale. But with high hay prices, it is tempting to feed moldy hay. After all, if the animals still eat it, how harmful can it really be?
Moldy hay poses many dangers. First of all, moldy hay is harmful to the humans handling the hay. Mold spores inhaled by a human irritate the lungs, and aggravate existing respiratory issues such as asthma.
The dangers of respiratory issues are also present for the livestock consuming the hay. In addition to breathing in the mold spores, livestock who eat moldy feed experience a decline in appetite, a loss of productivity, and increased reproductive issues. These issues are exacerbated in high production animals such as dairy cattle.
So what to do? First of all, buy from a reputable source. Hay becomes moldy if it is not properly dried before being baled. Next, inspect all hay before feeding. A hungry animal will eat almost anything put in front of it. Do not rely on the livestock to tell you if the hay is good or not. Check for dust, musty smells, or mold spores, especially in the middle of the bale.
Lastly, protect your supply! Hay molds whenever it is exposed to damp conditions or rain. Keep your hay bales stored on a dry surface. If your barn has dirt flooring, invest in a quality tarp. If you must store your hay outdoors, a hay cover is absolutely essential. For more information on products that can keep your hay safe and dry, contact us.

Secure the Best Prices for Hay and Preserve Your Investment With Hay Covers

hay coversThe price of hay can vary pretty wildly. Different suppliers can have different prices, and conditions can change the price you will pay per bale. So, when you find a good price for hay, it makes sense to stock up on hay for your livestock.
To complicate things further, bales are not a uniform size. So, when you are trying to compare hay prices by the bale, you may not have a good idea of which supplier is really offering you the best value for your money. Some people avoid this problem by negotiating a price per ton, instead of a price per bale.
However, if you want to negotiate a price per ton, you have to be prepared to load, transport and store a very large amount of hay. The good news is that hay keeps amazing well. As long as hay is kept dry, it will not go bad; although, after a year or two the hay does begin to lose some of its nutrients, but it is still perfectly safe to feed to animals as long as it is not allowed to get wet.
Ideally, hay is stored in a way that keeps it perfectly dry while still allowing some air flow to the hay. You can purchase hay covers to help protect your hay and protect your investment when you purchase large amounts of hay.
Please contact us for more information about our quality hay covers. Our hay covers are available in different sizes and shapes to suit your needs.

3 Reasons You Must Have High Quality Hay Covers

Hay CoverHay covers are, quite simply, the most important thing that any farmer or rancher must have if they are storing hay for any length of time. Here are three reasons that you must have a high quality hay cover or tarp.

1. Avoid Preventable Damage

Wet hay is ruined hay. When hay bales get wet, they don’t just become damp on the outside. The hay stalks act like straws that suck up the water through capillary action, drawing the water deep into the bale. That water stays within the bale of hay, causing mold and toxins to grow. Even if it looks safe on the outside, the middle of the hay bale could be completely unusable.

2. Protect Livestock

Cattle are better equipped to eat hay that has been exposed to moisture than horses, but wet hay is still not good for any type of livestock. Horses in particular can become very sick from the mold that grows in wet hay, and the vet bills can become quite hefty. Wet hay can also grow botulinum, which causes botulism and is potentially fatal. Hay that has been in damp conditions also loses a lot of its nutritional value.

3. Save Money

Because of the damage that occurs when hay becomes wet, it often cannot be sold or used and must be thrown out. If you experience an unexpected rainstorm, that can mean that a lot of your hay becomes unusable if you were not prepared with a high quality hay cover.
Luckily, these problems can be avoided with a high quality hay cover. If you’re looking for the right cover or tarp to store your hay with, please contact us.

Purchase Hay Covers to Prepare for Winter

Hay TarpsThe days are getting shorter quickly, and temperatures are getting cooler every day. It won’t be long until snow covers the ground. The fast approach of cold weather means that it is time to prepare your livestock for the winter months.

One of the most important things you can do to keep your horses, cattle, goats and other livestock healthy and strong this winter is to make sure that you have all the hay covers you need to keep all your animal feed safe from the elements. Wet hay and other animal feed can rot. If wet food is fed to animal, it can create illnesses that are difficult and expensive to treat. A small investment in hay covers now can save a lot of money in vet bills down the road.

It is important to keep in mind that this fall and the following spring are likely to be even more wet than usual. The end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 are marked by El Nino conditions. El Nino occurs every two to seven years. El Nino will lead to wetter conditions in many parts of the country.
For this reason, your current solutions for keeping your animal food out of the rain may not be quite sufficient during an El Nino year. For more information on hay covers please contact us. We have a huge selection of quality hay covers in a variety of sizes. We have hay covers designed for round bales of hay and different covers designed for square bales of hay.

Hay Covers for Fall Triticale and Rye: Keep Those Protein Rich Bales Safe!

Hay TarpsFall forage time is upon us. Which season extending crops will you be planting and harvesting? Many people we know will be planting or harvesting triticale and rye. The first is a high-yielding, self-pollinating, wheat hybrid known for its percentage of crude protein. As for the second foraging crop weve mentioned, most people are already familiar with it. It generally has a lot of digestible protein and nutrients too.

Because they are so rich in protein, it is important to properly protect them with hay covers. Also known as hay tarps, we have both discount and Performer types. The first type of hay cover (discount) is crafted out of high density, laminated, silver poly. The waterproof material is 14 mil and will also help keep fungus away from the triticale and rye. Finished sizes range from a little over 7 feet in length to slightly over 39 feet and customization is possible.

In comparison, the Performer types are customarily thicker (17 mil) and do not have grommet holes. Theyre outfitted with internal sleeves instead. As such, they are traditionally used with pole barn style setups. And unlike some companies, the ones we sell come complete with J-hooks, PVC poles and fasteners that match the sleeves. So when checking out, customers dont have to feel like theyre being fleeced over every little hay storage component.

Finished sizes in the Performer series generally begin with hay covers that are more than 13 feet long. The largest, finished size that we usually have on hand and ready to ship is over 71 feet long. Square and round shapes are typically available with or without curtains. For the best protection of triticale and rye bales, wed recommend choosing ones with curtains. To learn more about keeping rye and triticale bales safe until spring, please contact us.

Consider Hay Covers as a Valuable Asset for Your Business

Rain is a major problem for hay when it is not protected as it can destroy entire hay bales. Finding a reliable solution to stoprain from causing damage should be highly prioritized, and this is exactly what you can get when you invest inhay coversmade of reinforced poly.

A Solid Alternative to Sheds

While you can certainly invest in sheds to get high-quality protection, this generally requires a substantial investment of money, something that you may not be able to do for protecting hay.

However, you will find that hay covers are a great alternativebecause they provide nearly thesame level of protection at a more affordable price.

Avoid Wasting Hay

When you try out other methods to protect hay bales, you will likelyend up with some balesthat cannot be used or sold. It should be your main goal to waste as few hay bales as possible, which will ultimately increase your potential income when selling them.


A huge benefit of hay covers is that they are long-lasting and quite resilient to the elements. Also, rain is not something that will damage the covers, and on top of that, they areresistant to mold, sun damage, and tearing.

Easy to Set Up Quickly

Othermethods of protection such as using a shed take a lot of time, effort, and money to construct, especially when you intend on building a large enough shed to accommodate hay bales in large quantities.

Fortunately, you can set up hay covers to protect hay bales in a short period of time, which is especially helpfulwhenrain is right around the corner.

Contact usif you have any questions about the hay covers we sell.

Hay Covers: Should You Go with Round or Square Tarps in Summer 2015?

So, you’ve just started raising livestock on a modest scale and now youre wondering whether its best to invest in round or squarehay coversfor the summer 2015 harvest. Over the years, people have debated the topic quite extensively and there are fans on both sides of the hay bale. Lets look at the pros and cons of using round hay bales first:

Round Hay Bales

Round hay bales are traditionally tailor-made for mechanical handling and storage in giant, high-clearance buildings. Despite their round size, they are very easy to stack in rows and cover with round hay covers. Oftentimes, just one person can stack and cover the bales without another man or womans assistance.

The downside to using round hay bales is that they have a tendency to spontaneously combust or spoil if the farmer did not take the time to properly dry, prepare and bale the forage materials. Plus, the round bales may be too large for small-scale livestock to take advantage of before spoilage occurs. Thus, a portion of the bales may end up being wasted unless the farmer is able to put the leftover forage to good use in other areas (e.g. line pig pen).

Square Hay Bales

Square hay bales, on the other hand, are ideal for small farms with limited livestock populations. Consequently, they are less apt to spoil if not consumed quickly. Like their round cousins, they also stack well with very little wasted space to contend with. Subsequently, they are often stacked in tiny sheds or other small, square or rectangular buildings.

However, the square bales are typically not well suited for mechanical handling. So, harvesting, storing, relocating and maintaining the square bales will often require more manual labor than the round ones. On top of that, because of the shape of the stacks, putting square hay covers in place tends to be a two to four man operation. This could prove to be problematic for farmers that are unable to hire sufficient amounts of seasonal staff.

Now that you know the crux of the round vs. square hay bale argument, it should be easier to make an investment decision. Just please know that whichever type of hay covers you choose to go with, youll find them on sale at Canopies & Tarps. To learn more about the various ones we have in stock for the summer harvest, pleasecontact us.

Hay Covers and Forage Field Days: Get a Jump on June and Plan Your Own

This month, all across the county, states likeWyomingare getting ready for field day events but they arent the kind geared towards active school children. These field day events are for hay producers and those whose livelihoods rely on forage crops. As such, many of the June events boast workshops about soil maintenance, calculating crops andhay covers.

If your area isnt already planning to host such an important event, you may want to consider taking up the pitch fork and setting plans in motion to host one yourself. Think about inviting related businesses to participate. For example, it may be nice to invite the local tractor supply store to set up a vendor booth or hold a discussion about the latest trends in farm equipment design. The list of others that may want to participate includes, but isnt limited to the local Ag/Farmers Bureau, seed retailers, irrigation system suppliers, barn builders and pest control companies.

Wed also suggest that you contemplate raffling off hay covers to the people whodecide to sign up for the forage field day workshops. After all, people whohave forage fields will eventually need hay covers to protect their investments. So, we suspect that many will sign up for a raffle that features hay covers as the grand prize. The monies raised during the raffle could be donated to the local 4H Club or another organization determined to uphold the tradition of farming.

AtCanopies and Tarps, we have round and square, high quality hay tarps that would make excellent raffle prizes. We also have other products farmers may be interested in, like machine covers, firewood covers and truck tarps. Plus, youll find an assortment of party tents, portable chairs and tables that could be utilized to set up workshop areas during your Forage Field Day. To learn more about them, pleasecontact ustoday.

Buy Hay Covers Now, Before Spring Crops Are Ready for Harvest in June

Hay TarpsWith soil temperatures on the rise and the risk of frost gone for now, its the ideal time to plant spring forages. Spring oats are one crop to consider investing in this year. They tend to mature quickly and may be used as nurse crops, so youll need to have those hay covers ready for harvest. Its also important to prepare the land properly before dropping those first seeds.

To prepare the land, remove all of the weeds and consider adding nitrogen fertilizer to the soil to improve the hay quality in the long-term. Oh, and you might need to aerate the soil too because spring oats are notorious for growing poorly in compact soil. Then go out and buy the best spring oats available in your area and mind the seeding rate while youre engaged in planting activities. Afterward, it will be important to watch out for soil crusting and signs of insect or wild animal activity.

If you want to increase your hay stores even more, think about planting rye, yellow mustard and medium red clover too. They have a history of growing in harmony with spring oats and will produce a lot of food for your grazing animals too. By late May or early June, youll probably need to harvest all of the forage crops we mentioned and bale them up for later. So depending on how much food youre hoping to store away for late summer, you may need to buy even more hay covers at this time.

Weve got Performer and discount products in stock now. Consequently, youll have your choice of round and square hay covers as well as side curtains. Collectively, theyre large enough to accommodate round, spring oat bales that are anywhere from 4 to 6 feet in size. To learn more about our collection of Performer and discount hay covers, please contact us today.

Beyond Hay Covers: Are You Ready for a Cold Weather Garden?

Hay TarpsWe know that most farmers and gardeners are taking a break while Old Man Winter and Mother Nature have their fun, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We promise you, there is life in the cool season beyond the traditional hay covers. There are always greenhouse kits, which make excellent investments. We have three different types available through our online store and theyre perfect for starting new plants or cool season gardening.

Of course youll want to make your selection based on several factors. They include the climate zone youre living in and how much space youre working with. For example, if youre the type of person accustom to seeing rows of hay covers and the steam rising up from the horse paddy in winter, wed suggest looking at our round greenhouses. They range in size from 6-feet by 8-feet by 6.5-feet to 12-feet by 20-feet by 8.6-feet. Because they dont stand unreasonably high off of the ground, the tops of the greenhouses are easily covered with insulated tarps.

The insulated tarps will help protect the starter plants inside of the round greenhouse when the temperatures dip and may be removed when things warm up outside. We make an array of insulated tarps, by the way. Our most popular tend to be constructed out of vinyl and poly. They come in various sizes too and we can custom make insulated tarps to suit your particular tastes.

In addition to the round greenhouses, we have ones in stock with pointed and gable roofs. The pitched roofs can be covered with insulated tarps too. However, its important not to let snow build up on them. Otherwise, the resulting snow load may end up too much for the greenhouses to bear. To learn more about our all-season hay covers and array of portable greenhouse kits, please contact us today. If you act now, we can have the portable greenhouse and insulated tarps in your hands well before the start of spring.