ENID, Okla. — General recommendations
• Open-sided barns should be oriented with the long axis east and west to minimize the amount of sun intrusion into the building.
• If only one side of the barn is open, it should be facing away from prevailing wind (generally south), to minimize rain being blown into the barn.
• Sidewalls add protection to both equipment and hay, but add significantly to the cost of the building. You should get a bid on different types of buildings and do your own analysis using the guidelines in this publication.
• Buildings for hay storage should be as open as possible in the gable ends (peak of the roof) to allow moisture to escape as the hay dries while in the barn. Otherwise, condensation and rust will occur on the inside of the roof. Ridge vents should be considered in large barns. One hundred tons of hay will give off about 5,000 pounds of water during curing, and this must be removed by ventilation.
• More large round hay bales can be stored in a barn by stacking the bales on their (flat) end rather than on their (round) side. This can be done with a 4-foot front-end-loader fork. It does, however, take a little more time and effort than storing on the side.
• Make sure height of the eaves (vertical clearance) is high enough to fit your needs (usually at least 14 feet). Nothing is more frustrating than realizing one more foot of ceiling height would allow you to put another layer of hay bales in the barn or that your barn is one foot too short for the new combine.
Information for this story was provided by Farm Talk, of Parsons, Kan.