Hay Tarps: Protecting America’s Livestock Feed

All across America, from New York to California, we devote millions of acres of agricultural land to the production of hay. Moreover, while hay may not seem very important, it is a staple of American farm life. Hay is the primary food source of all sorts of livestock including cows, horses, goats, and sheep. Hay is even used to feed pets like rabbits and guinea pigs. Protecting that food source is vitally important for the health of the animals that need it.

Hay producers use specially designed hay tarps to protect their harvests once brought in from the field. A hay tarp has two different sides that offer different kinds of protection. The purpose of harvested hay, and how it can be damaged by the weather, dictates how hay tarps are designed. The farmer cannot use just any tarp if he or she expects maximum protection.

A Bit about Hay

Hay can be any combination of herbaceous plants, grasses and legumes cut and bundled together as animal feed. Most of what we see in the States is a primarily grass product. Farmers can grow acres of hay and, in the right weather conditions, enjoy multiple harvests every year. The hay is rolled and stored until it is either sold or used on the farm where it was produced.

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Farmers have to be very careful when harvesting hay in order to make sure water content is not too high. Otherwise, a roll of hay is prone to spontaneous combustion caused by heat produced by bacterial fermentation. Harvested hay also has to be protected from direct sunlight and additional moisture so that it does not grow mold or mildew. That’s where the specially designed hay tarp comes into play.

How Hay Tarps Work

The typical hay tarp has both a silver and black side. This silver side is placed face up in order to reflect the sunlight. The black side underneath is a further light inhibitor to protect against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Some hay tarps are white and black rather than silver and black, though there does not seem to be a big difference in the protection offered by the white and silver surfaces.

In addition to protecting the hay from sunlight, a hay tarp must also be waterproof. A good quality tarp is made from either polyethylene or a poly fabric with high UV resistance. Web looping along the edges make it easy to secure the tarps to the ground or a storage structure.

The main advantage of the hay tarp is that it is an inexpensive option when compared to building hay barns. For several hundred dollars per tarp, the farmer can protect his or her harvest without having to invest in a permanent building structure on their property. In between harvests, the open space can be used for other things as well.

Having said that, high-quality tarps are important for maximum protection. It does not do the farmer any good to invest in a cheap tarp that could potentially result in the loss of an entire load. Saving a little money is a recipe for losing a lot by way of a cheap tarp that does not do its job. At Mytee Products, we know how important it is for hay producers to have access to high-quality tarps that will protect their crops.

Thanks to the dedicated hay producers across the country, livestock owners have access to plenty of high-quality hay to feed their animals. Moreover, thanks to hay tarps like the ones we sell and Mytee Products, hay farmers are able to provide strong, healthy feed to their customers.


Why You Should Consider Covering Your RV or Travel Trailer

With summer now in bloom across most of the country, America’s RV and travel trailer owners are out on the roads in full force. Most are not even thinking about what they plan to do when it comes time to store their rigs in the fall. Nonetheless, now is the time to start thinking about it, especially if you plan to use an RV or trailer cover.

There is plenty of debate over whether or not to use recreational vehicles (RV) and trailer covers. Those against the practice site numerous problems including moisture damage, mold, damaged finishes, and bent framing. Those in favor of covers will insist they have never had a problem. So here’s the question: should you cover your RV or trailer, or should you leave it to the elements over the winter?

We believe covering your rig is the better option. Here are four reasons why:

1.Sun Damage – The roof on your RV is certainly not as durable as the one on your home. Constant exposure to the sun wears down the roof material, ultimately drying out the caulking used to seal vents and air conditioning units. While a cover does not provide 100% protection, it can cover can significantly slow down sun damage.

2.Moisture Potential – Moisture is the enemy of the typical RV or travel trailer. Water can pool on the roof due to sags or dimples, or it can be collected and absorbed by pine needles, leaves, grass, and other sorts of debris. During the hot summer months, this is usually not a problem. However, during the fall and winter, any moisture on the roof may not evaporate. This can lead to mold and mildew come spring.

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3.Snow Damage – RV owners that live in northern environments have to think long and hard about the snow. Just a couple inches of accumulated snow on your rig could cause pretty significant damage. It is especially problematic if you have a couple of quick thaw/freeze cycles during the season.

4.Window SealsA good RV or trailer cover will be large enough to cover all of your windows as well. Keeping them covered during the off-season protects the seals around the windows from dry rot and thaw/freeze cycles. You will get longer life from your seals and caulking.

We should note that we favor covering your rig with a specially designed cover that fits well. We do not endorse the use of generic poly tarps. Why? Because tarps and improperly fitting covers can cause more problems than they solve.

Tips for Using Covers Properly

Any type of cover you use for your RV or travel trailer has the potential to damage the vehicle if not used properly. Here is what you need to know about using covers properly:

  • Sizing – You need to choose a cover for your rig that matches its size. Covers need to fit snugly in order to keep out moisture, bugs, and debris. Your cover should be large enough to protect the entire unit, from top to bottom, but not so large that it moves freely in the wind.
  • Securing – The most important thing you can do to protect your rig is to make sure the cover is tightly secured. If the cover is not tight, it can cause damage by flapping in the wind, allowing moisture underneath, and even allowing precipitation to pool in various locations. This is a good way to damage your RV or trailer.

When a cover is sized appropriately and used properly, it offers you maximum protection for your RV or travel trailer. A good quality cover from Mytee Products is an excellent investment that will extend the life of your rig.


Tarps in Agriculture: Protecting Livestock

Livestock is an important asset to the American farmer. Some farmers deal exclusively in livestock, including cows and goats, while others work with livestock as a complement to producing fruits and vegetables. In either case, livestock represents an important investment the farmer cannot afford to take lightly.

Though animals are not as susceptible to environmental conditions as human beings are, inclement weather can still be harmful to livestock. That’s why farmers will build barns and other structures to keep animals out of the weather. However, sometimes a large animal barn is simply not feasible. Such cases are perfect for poly tarps. With a little creativity and the right tools, the farmer can build a tarpaulin shelter able to provide much needed protection for his or her animals.

Protection from the Sun

In warm weather states, particularly in the South and the Southwest, the hot sun can be just as dangerous to livestock as it is to humans. Yet building multiple barns out in the middle of grazing fields is impractical. A poly tarp can be used to provide adequate protection that is both temporary and portable.

Often times you will see these portable shelters constructed in a classic “U-shape” form. The tarp may be supported by an aluminum frame that can be quickly disassembled and moved to another location, or part of a permanent wood structure that remains even when the tarp is removed. In either case, this type of shelter is open on either end. Its only purpose is to give animals some much-needed shade.

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Protection from Wind and Rain

Believe it or not, livestock is susceptible to ill health if persistently exposed to wind and rain. Where outbuildings are not practical, a farmer might construct a three-sided shelter using poly tarps and metal framing. Such a structure would be positioned to block the wind and rain in whatever direction it normally comes from.

Sometimes you will see these structures built as lean-tos; three sided shelters with a slanted roof. The lean-to design has been popular for hundreds of years because of its ability to direct water away from the floor. Other times the wind and rain shelter will be constructed more like a three-sided garage or storage shed. This design is better suited in areas where inclement weather can be more severe.

Protection from the Cold

The farmer who chooses to leave his or her livestock in the field 24-hours per day can sometimes run into trouble on cold nights. Thankfully, livestock do not need much to stay warm. They will do fine in the harshest of temperatures as long as they have a shelter capable of containing their body heat. An agricultural tarp constructed for that purpose is the ideal solution.

Protecting livestock from the cold involves constructing a shelter with four sides and a door opening. The opening does not necessarily have to be sealed, but it is typically only large enough to allow the animals to move in and out. Keeping in body heat indicates the space must be closed in as much as possible.

The key to using poly tarps to protect livestock is to embrace their flexibility. Farmers use all sorts of other materials in combination with tarps to build shelters unique to the needs of their animals. Shelters can be square, triangular, U-shaped, or even tent-like structures. Whatever it takes to keep the animals safe.

For Mytee Products to serve the needs of America’s farmers, we have to make sure we always have a good selection of agricultural grade tarps in stock. We offer all kinds of options for just about any agricultural need.