It is financially sensible to store your high-quality alfalfa hay in a manner that will maximize the length that it can be preserved. If your business develops a reputation for not having high-quality alfalfa hay for sale, you will suffer a blow to your reputation and lose customers. When you must keep large volumes of alfalfa hay on hand, it can be more difficult to preserve the hay without using the proper methods.
If you are baling the hay yourself, it is essential to wait until the hay is sufficiently dry before baling. Otherwise, you will trap moisture and increase the rot. However, if the hay is too dry before baling, this will cause leaves to crack. The ideal bale moisture percentage is around 17%.
In order to protect your alfalfa hay, you will want to place it under cover in a building that does not leak and that is well-ventilated. The site will need to be well-drained and elevated to avoid causing rot that would result from excessive moisture. If you do not have the proper facility to store your hay, one option is to rent a barn from a hay farmer.
If you must store the hay outdoors, make sure to cover it with a tarp in order to protect it from weather. For square bales, secure the tarp with tie-downs that will cause the tarp to form the shape of a pyramid. Do not allow the hay to be exposed to sunlight because this will cause the hay to bleach. Therefore, you will want to inspect the tarp regularly to make sure that it is properly tied down. For round bales, store on the twine or wrap side. The flat ends should be butted in long rows. The rows should be placed so that both sides receive adequate sunlight for drying.
Hay is very flammable, so it is important that safety precautions are taken to make sure that there is not an increased risk that the hay will catch on fire. Therefore, you will want the hay to be in a separate building from your main barn in case the main barn catches on fire, since the alfalfa will contribute to the fire. As you become more effective in storing alfalfa hay, it may come time to purchase more alfalfa hay for sale. Then, you will be able to expand your operations.