139 South 3rd Street, Suite A, Coshocton, Ohio, 43812

Hay Fire Prevention Tips

Hay fires are a serious danger that can devastate a farm and cause loss of income. Not only do they put people at risk, but livestock, equipment and other property. We’ve provided some advice to help prevent hay fires.

#1 What Causes Hay Fires?

After hearing about the impact hay fires can have on a farm, you must be wondering what causes them. The answer is spontaneous combustion. Spontaneous combustion occurs when organic matter like hay catches fire through heat generated by rapid oxidation.

#2 How Can I Avoid Hay Fires?

Here are some safety precautions you can take to prevent your hay from overheating and causing fires:

  • Don’t store hay with high moisture content (20% or greater for small rectangular bales and 16% for large rectangular or round bales). If you think you have, check the temperature of the stack regularly.

  • Monitor the temperature of haystacks in the field or barn. Be sure to check the temperature in the morning and afternoon. If it is getting too warm, move the hay to allow increased air circulation and cooling.

  • Avoid exposure to moisture from rain or leaks. There are a few ways this can be achieved:

Hay Stored Outdoors

  • Uncovered bales or stacks should be formed into the tightest bundles possible to prevent rain from infiltrating.
  • Make sure the bales or stacks have space between them for air circulation.
  • Place the hay on a bed of gravel, pallets, or another barrier from damp ground.
  • Use plastic or waterproof covers to protect bales of hay from water.

Hay Stored Indoors

  • Make sure the barn roof and plumbing are leak-free.
  • Ensure the barn has proper drainage in place, so water doesn’t infiltrate during storms.
  • Provide enough ventilation and space between the stacks.

#3 How Do I Measure Hay Temperatures?

You can use hay moisture meters, or a probe and thermometer to monitor your haystacks and bales. Push the probe into the stack, then lower the thermometer to the end of the probe using a light wire. After 10-15 minutes have passed, pull out the thermometer to check the temperature. Ideally, you want to avoid temperatures over 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Agribusiness & Farm Insurance

Monitoring the temperature of your haystacks and bales, and using the other tips we discussed, will help you avoid situations that can cause hay fires. Having a quality farm insurance policy is another way to protect your farm and livelihood. Ianniello Insurance Agency is an IRMI certified Agribusiness and Farm Insurance Specialist. We would be happy to help you establish a policy that meets the individual needs of your farm. Contact us today to discuss your needs further.

About Ianniello Insurance Agency

Ianniello Insurance Agency is Northeast Ohio’s premier provider of auto insurance, life insurance, home insurance, agribusiness insurance, farm insurance, business insurance and health insurance. You can count on our personalized service to meet your needs. We take our time to ensure there are no gaps in your coverage. We proudly serve Coshocton, Holmes, and Tuscarawas Counties. Get in touch today for a quote and follow us on Facebook to stay in touch!

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