More from: hay storage structure

Hay Moisture Content Is Important to Cattle Too

In marketing moisture testers to our agricultural customers, we frequently talk about controlling moisture content in baled hay so as to prevent spoilage that leads to crop loss. The point here is obvious. Farmers lose money on every pound of hay lost to spoilage. But did you know that hay moisture content is just as important to the cattle that will feed on that baled hay?

Moisture does funny things to baled hay. A bale has to have at least some moisture content, otherwise the crop dries out and goes bad. But too much moisture can promote the growth of all sorts of microbes that could be detrimental to cattle health. Excess moisture can also lead to spontaneous combustion during prolonged periods of winter storage.

The long and short of it is that farmers and ranchers have to control moisture levels in stored hay. One of the best ways to do that is with regular testing using a high-quality moisture tester like the ones we sell. If moisture levels are too high, the farmer or rancher needs to take action to start drying the bales.

Moisture Makes Hay Unappetizing

Ranchers and dairy farmers tend to be very particular about the feed they buy. They know a secret that hay producers may not be familiar with: cattle are not necessarily willing to eat anything. In fact, feed that has been exposed to excessive moisture can be unappetizing to both beef and dairy cattle.

Excessive moisture can reduce the protein content of hay. It can also make it more difficult to digest. Cattle being fed hay that has been exposed to too much moisture may develop digestive tract issues, causing them to eat less than they should. It is a lot like a person finding food unappetizing because of an upset stomach.

Some estimates suggest that feed intake can be reduced by half a pound or more per day if cattle find hay unappetizing. While such estimates have never been proved, anecdotal evidence does indicate that cattle eat less when they do not like their feed.

Fungi and Their Mycotoxins

Fungi and the mycotoxins they produce are yet another reason to continually test hay moisture levels with a reliable moisture tester. There are literally dozens of different fungi that can grow inside bales of already harvested hay. Fungal growth is especially problematic when hay is exposed to cool, damp conditions during flowering.

Following such conditions, growers have to be especially diligent about moisture when it comes time to harvest and baling. Otherwise, fungal growth produces mycotoxins that can lead to a litany of problems for cattle, including:

-refusal of feed
-digestive tract issues
-respiratory illnesses
-hoof disease

Some strains of fungus also produce alkaloids that are problematic for cattle. Some of those alkaloids can cause infertility and hoof disease. Farmers in North America have nearly 4-dozen alkaloids to worry about.

Moisture Levels Are No Laughing Matter

As you can see, moisture levels in stored hay have to be kept in check. They are no laughing matter. Hay producers certainly do not want to lose money to spoilage, so they keep track of moisture levels as best they can. Ranchers and dairy farmers do not want spoilage to lead to sickness and disease in their animals, so they keep an eye on hay moisture levels in every pound of feed they buy.

Here at Mytee Products, we have what you need to keep stored hay at the right moisture level. In addition to moisture testers, we also carry hay tarps and temporary hay storage structures.

Tips for Using Portable Carport and Storage Buildings

Mytee Products is proud to have added portable carport and storage buildings to our inventory of valuable products. We believe these structures are perfect for a variety of needs ranging from hay storage to protecting your car or truck. At the same time, they are affordable and easy to setup and cuse. We currently have four different models in our inventory.

As with anything else, there are right and wrong ways to use a portable carport or storage building. Below is a selection of tips designed to help you, make the best use of your structure, for as long as you own it.


Quality Materials and Craftsmanship

The first and most important tip is to make sure you invest in a product made of quality materials and craftsmanship. Remember, your carport or storage building will have to withstand all that Mother Nature throws at it. This is not something to take lightly as every season has extremer conditions. Mytee Products has chosen an inventory line made with durable components such as galvanized steel and heavy duty, UV resistant fabrics. Aluminum is another option, but we believe steel makes the best material for a rugged and sturdy frame that will not rust.

Consider Positioning Carefully

Avoid the temptation of positioning your carport or storage structure based solely on convenience. Convenience is a factor, but there are other things to consider as well. For example, consider a property in a lightning prone state such as Florida. Any location visited by frequent lightning is a location in which you should avoid placing your structure near a tree. The last thing you need is for lightning to strike your favorite oak tree and crush your carport at the same time. Be sure to account for wind as well.

Anchor Your Structure Firmly

A heavy-duty hay storage structure may seem weighty enough at more than 700 pounds. However, you would be surprised at how easily such a structure can be picked up by a stiff wind. Every portable carport and storage building needs to be firmly anchored according to manufacturer’s instructions. The structure you choose may only need anchors at the four corners, or it may need to be anchored around the entire perimeter. Be sure to follow all the recommendations found in the owner’s manual that comes with your structure.

Be Aware of Roof Concerns

A high-quality carport or storage structure should be able to withstand the elements under normal conditions. Nevertheless, there are times when owners need to do a little extra to protect their units. For example, an unusually heavy snowstorm consisting of wet, heavy spring snow could be enough to collapse your structure if you don’t make an effort to remove any accumulated snow. Fortunately, carports and storage structures tend to have slanted or rounded roofs that make snow accumulation difficult. You should not have a problem most of the time. Nonetheless, if snow does accumulate, clean it off quickly.

Local Planning Approval

Depending on where you reside & where your structure will be located,you may or may not require local planning approval for a carport or storage structure. Before you make any kind of investment, check with your local planning board or zoning office. If approval is needed, it is usually a relatively simple matter involving submitting a simple diagram and paying a planning fee. If planning approval is not required in your area, you have lost nothing by asking.

Portable carport and storage structures are an excellent way to make use of outdoor space without investing in permanent structures. We invite you to look at our entire inventory of high quality, portable structures.