Minimize Waste When Using Tarps for Livestock Hay Storage

Written by booadmin on . Posted in Uncategorized

There are two primary ways hay is wasted when it’s stored long term. If the hay has been improperly baled, cured, or stacked, it will rot quickly. If animals have free access to large bales, they will trample and waste a large percentage of hay. To minimize waste, concentrate your efforts on your storage method and your feeding system.

Minimize Waste When Using Tarps for Livestock Hay Storage

Store Hay That’s Properly Cured

Start by storing only hay that has a low moisture content. You want hay that measures no more than 15 percent moisture. Any percentage above this reading will give you a corresponding percentage of eventual hay loss, according to one respected rule of thumb.

Large-scale growers normally have their hay batches’ information on file; small hay growers may not. Always ask for the moisture content when you purchase long-term hay for storage, and if the grower doesn’t know, insist that the hay be tested.

A hand-held hygrometer is one solution if you want to know the moisture content of your own or another farmer’s hay. To get the most accurate reading, you’ll need to test a variety of bales from the same field to compensate for windrows that were in the shade, bottomlands, and weedy areas.

Keep the Outer Layer Fresh

When it comes to feeding five-foot-diameter round bales, the outer six-inch layer of the bale makes up one-third of the weight of the entire round bale. The next six inches makes up one fourth of the bale, and so on.

If you allow livestock to trample the outer foot or so of a round bale of this size, you’re wasting half a bale of hay. Use hay rings to feed large numbers of animals, or otherwise portion hay so that animals are not fouling and wasting large amounts of their roughage.

Never leave stored hay bales out in the open or sitting directly on the ground. Losses can reach up to 40 percent when hay has no cover above or ventilation below. Always stack bales on pallets or wood planks that form a lattice.

Cover Hay for More Control

Barns are good for hay. Barns keep losses from rotting to less than 5 percent of the dry weight of properly handled hay. Because of the risk of wet hay spontaneously combusting, however, many farmers choose not to risk storing hay in their barns. Tarps are the second-best solution, and there are several ways to make the hay more secure under tarps.

Expect losses up 10 ten percent when hay is stored under tarps. You’ll minimize these losses by stacking square bales on dry days, buying pre-wrapped round bales, and checking the undersides of tarps for condensation after heavy dews and rains. Use bungee cords, trampoline springs, and other flexible tie-downs to secure tarps from wind gusts and downpours.

When you find excess moisture on the undersides of tarps or on the top layer of hay, try not to worry. Tarps are pulled back and “sunned” to dry them out at the same time the bales are allowed to dry on the outer layer. The tarp gives you control over additional curing of the hay after wet periods.

Make a Ridge Over Hay

A tarp won’t protect your massive stack of hay if the tarp collapses on top of the stack and allows water to pool. Pooled water is forced by gravity to find an easy way over the edge. The melting snow or storm runoff trickles down the bales, soaking hay and making the entire stack vulnerable to mold and spontaneous combustion.

Make a peak for your stack that’s at least one fourth as tall as the stack is wide. If you have a 12-foot square stack, then measure each end and place bales in the center top of the stack. The peak should run end to end and be at least three feet high before the stack is covered with the tarp. This gives an adequate “pitch” to the tarp cover—on both sides—to allow snow and rain to roll away.

Additionally, you can overlap the sides of a square bale stack after you create the peak. Have some of the very topmost side bales jutting out long ways over the side walls of the stack. Balance the bales with another bale set on top of each one. The overlapping bales help to offset the top edge of the tarp so water falls away from the wall of hay.

Check your stack of hay periodically throughout the season. Stay alert for high temperatures, burning odors, moldy smells, and high amounts of dust in hay. If you find a bad bale or two in the stack, remove that hay promptly so the entire pile isn’t ruined.

Whether your raise cattle or elephants, Billboard Tarps offers you hay covers in a full range of sizes that are UV-protected, mildew-resistant, and fitted with three-inch-wide pipe sleeves to securely anchor the tarps over your hay. Contact us today to learn more about our farmer-friendly tarp selection.

4 Benefits of Upcycling Billboard Advertisements into Tarps

Written by booadmin on . Posted in Uncategorized

In recent years, both homeowners and business owners have started focusing on reducing their environmental impact. While you may know the importance of recycling in the effort to make your home, company, or organization more eco-friendly, you may not be aware of the role that upcycling can play. Specifically, you may not think about how single-purpose items, like billboard advertisements, can be used in other ways.

4 Benefits of Upcycling Billboard Advertisements into Tarps

In this blog, we discuss upcycling, billboard tarps, and how these otherwise wasteful items can be used in innovative and beneficial ways.

What Is Upcycling?

Many items that cannot be recycled or that are difficult to recycle often end up in a landfill after they’re used. Upcycling is a form of reuse where an item that was created to serve a specific purpose is then used for another purpose, usually with little to no modification.

The quintessential example of upcycling is a tractor tire being hung in a tree to function as a swing. In this case, tires can be recycled, but they can be difficult to transport and may require a recycling fee. Upcycling this hypothetical tire keeps the rubber out of the local dump and gives the tire new purpose. Billboard tarps can gain new purpose in a similar way.

What Are Billboard Tarps?

Many people believe that billboard advertisements are created using paint or canvas. However, contemporary billboards are created using durable vinyl tarps with a high-resolution printed image on one side. In most cases, the side without printing is a solid color, usually white.

Once an advertisement has run its course, the billboard tarp is taken down. Tarp upcycling allows these large pieces of non-recyclable vinyl to be reused rather than thrown away.

How Are Billboard Tarps Reused?

Billboard tarps can be used the same way that any other plastic-based tarp would be. Common uses include:

  • Agricultural coverings to protect hay, greenhouses, and live plants from the elements
  • Drop cloths to catch dust, debris, and paint
  • Covers for heavy machinery, including combines and other farming equipment to prevent rust, animal nesting, and other types of damage
  • Covers for seasonal vehicle storage, such as for boats and RVs
  • Protective floor coverings to reduce the impact and cleanup of sports games, renovations, and other large-scale events
  • Tents and overhead coverings for outdoor events, including those held during periods of inclement weather
  • Underpinnings for water features such as ponds and pools

These tarps are ideal for residential, commercial, and municipal uses.

What Are the Benefits of Upcycling Billboard Tarps?

While billboard tarps can be used in similar ways to conventional tarps, these vinyl pieces differ in size and shape from the average tarp. These key differences offer benefits to both the user and his or her community, including the four following advantages.

  1. Cost-Effective Manufacturing

While conventional tarps may be reused by the people who buy them, these plastic sheets can’t be recycled or reused once the user is done with them. This cycle that ends with a landfill means that new plastic tarps have to be manufactured to fill the inventories of hardware stores and similar suppliers, who often pass the cost of manufacturing on to their clients.

Billboard tarps do not have to be newly manufactured. In some cases, these tarps don’t even need alteration before use. This reduced manufacturing effort makes billboard tarps a more cost-effective choice.

  1. Highly Customizable Products

In addition to billboard tarps being cut down to size when necessary, these vinyl sheets can also be fused together to create a larger tarp. Vinyl also accommodates grommets, simple seams, and other modifications to fit specific purposes.

When you purchase a conventional tarp, you’re restricted to the options available from a specific retailer. When you purchase a billboard tarp, you can get exactly what you need.

  1. High-Quality End Product

Billboard tarps usually measure 20 millimeters thick, which is 15 millimeters thicker than conventional plastic tarps. This extract thickness makes billboard tarps more durable and better suited for heavy-duty or outdoor uses.

Additionally, most billboard tarps have undergone surface treatments that are intended to limit sun damage. These treatments keep the vinyl from fading, wearing out, or becoming brittle when exposed to UV rays.

  1. Less Landfill Waste

Billboard tarps can last for 10 years or more. Even after an individual has used the tarp for their business or home, he or she may be able to donate or sell the tarp to a supplier so that the sheet can be used again.

This long reuse cycle reduces the amount of waste created when a billboard is taken down as well as the waste generated by the conventional tarp-manufacturing process.

Whether you need a heavy-duty drop cloth to cover your landscaping during outdoor painting or a protective floor covering for your commercial building, consider choosing an upcycled billboard tarp over a traditional tarp.

Maintain Your Gym Floor in 6 Steps

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From basketball players to dancers to marching bands, many groups walk and jump on your gym floor. Without proper care, your gym floor will become riddled with scratches, dents, and other damage.

You can guard against damage to your gym floor by taking certain precautions. Follow these tips to shield your gym floor from the damage that comes with daily use.

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Fax: 612.722.2229

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