Using a Pole Barn to Store Hay


If you operate a farm where you raise horses or livestock, you most likely purchase large amounts of hay and need a building to store it and keep it dry. A pole barn is an excellent place to store hay to protect it from weather that could cause damage.

Storing round hay bales can be a challenge because of their size. In a traditional barn, it is often difficult to maneuver a truck or tractor into the barn to drop off the hay. However, a pole barn is a better option because it has a clear span and more room for vehicles to enter and exit.

The first step in planning for your hay barn is to choose the appropriate location. The site you select should have good drainage to allow rain and melted snow to flow away so your hay will stay dry. The ground nearby should have a slope of at least 5 feet for every 100 feet of horizontal distance. Divert water from areas adjacent to the building site away from it.

Your pole barn should be in a location that is easily accessible at all times of the year. Make sure there is enough room for a tractor or a truck with a trailer to drive up to your pole barn, drop off hay, and turn around to leave. Make sure the pole barn will be accessible even during the winter if it snows.

The building should be oriented with the open end facing away from the prevailing wind. This will reduce loads on the pole barn and protect the hay.

A hay barn should be far enough away from other structures on your farm that other buildings will not be in danger if the hay catches fire. A hay storage building should be at least 75 feet away from other structures. Locate your hay barn near a water source, if possible.

A hay barn can generally accommodate 10 to 15 square feet per ton for square bales and 16 to 24 square feet per ton for round bales. Round bales can usually be stacked two or three high.

Figure out if you want your hay barn to be front- or side-loading. A side-loading barn makes it possible to sort hay and makes better use of space, but posts can obstruct access.

The floor of the pole barn should have an 8-inch layer of compacted gravel over a sheet of filter fabric. This will allow water to flow through the gravel.

When you are ready contact CHA Pole Barns to talk about your pole barn project.


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We are very pleased with the quality of the materials used in this building. I cannot say enough about Steve and his crew. Their workmanship is superb! The speed with which the building was constructed is amazing.

We are so glad we chose CHA!

Donald Haga