Storing hay in large, round bales has become the norm for most beef producers. But the switch from conventional, rectangular bales has lowered the hay quality for many producers.

With small, rectangular bales, most of us monitored moisture content much better. Too many times producers roll hay in large bales even though the moisture content may be too high.

This may result in mold growth inside the bale. If the hay is too wet, the bales may have a lot of mold growth. Too much moisture in the bale may also pose storage problems — which brings us to storing hay.

Hay bales stored inside will have less wastage. In fact, bales stored outside may have excessive losses if you don't place them on old tires, pallets or something else to keep the bottom of the bale from resting on the ground. Rainfall can escape from elevated bales.

You can place bales end to end without increasing spoilage, but bales placed side by side will have excessive spoilage if they touch. Don't stack or place bales on their end unless you cover them.