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RE: Hay storage

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A couple of years ago I had the “Opportunity” to clean out a hayloft full of bales dating back to the late ‘60s. The material was clearly not packed as tightly as the bales I was bucking on a daily basis for my animals; I would estimate 40-60% less weight. Reduction in moisture content after 30 years of drying surely accounted for some of it but after breaking some of the bales and seeing how much material was in there I believe that more efficient machinery (tighter packing, and therefore denser bales) is the primary contributor. I do know this—good alfalfa hay always weighs 100 lb/bale if you’re selling, and 70 lb/bale if you’re buying.


Based on my experience I would go with the heavier loads that have been quoted in previous emails.


Shaun Dustin, PE

SidePlate Systems, Inc


-----Original Message-----
From: Roger Davis [mailto:rdavis(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 10:27 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Hay storage


Farm Building Design by Loren W. Neubauer and Harry B. Walker, 1961 edition contains the following information:


Loose hay weighs 4 pcf, chopped hay weighs 12 pcf and baled hay weighs 15 pcf.  The load table indicates that the weight of loose and chopped hay varies with depth; but does not provide any additional guidance. 


Roger C. Davis


SDS Architects, Inc.

205 N. Dewey Street

Eau Claire, WI 54703

(715) 832-1605


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Pemberton [mailto:markpemberton(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 10:51 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Hay storage


Thanks for all the slab buckling responses.  Now I have two much easier questions regarding barn loading;  1) Is a barn considered an agriculture building if the owner wants a two car garage as part of the main level?  2) What storage loading should be used for the hay lofts? (what's the density of hay anyway?)  Thanks again.


Mark Pemberton, S.E.

Pemberton Engineering

Davis, CA