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Keep tarps tight

If you store hay outdoors, you know weather can hamper the quality when it's not protected. While tarping helps, if it's not snug around bales to keep moisture out, a tarp renders itself useless in short order because wet hay becomes moldy, wasted hay.

To keep tarps in place, costs down, and hay quality up, a Colorado company has developed Hay Anchor. It's a bright orange, polypropylene device that screws into a bale of hay and provides a secure location to attach tarp straps.

“Hay Anchor was designed after an orthopedic bone screw and was modified to the unique characteristics of hay,” says Hay Anchor's Ashley Royals. “It is tapered on one side of the thread to allow for easy insertion into the hay, and it is angled on the other side of the thread to resist pullout.”

They're easy to use. Simply rotate an anchor into the bale, either by hand or with a ¾-inch socket. Once in place, it provides a ready anchor for an S hook or baling twine/rope coming from the tarp grommet. To get the best hold, secure the device where the hay is tightly packed, usually on either end of the bale along the path of the twine. If you need to place a Hay Anchor into the side of a bale, insert it at a slight angle to penetrate as many flakes as possible.

“Hay Anchor does not need to be removed every time you need access to the stack,” says Royals. “Simply unhook your strap device, remove your hay, and reattach to the Hay Anchor. Also, Hay Anchor can be inserted in any location in a bale, meaning no more straps that are too short or too long for a snug fit.”

Hay Anchor can be reused for years, and it comes with a three-year manufacturer warranty.

Company representatives say the number of anchors needed is determined by three factors: the size of the hay stack, the number of grommets in the tarp, and how severe the weather is.

“For windy areas, we recommend using one anchor for every 4 inches of tarp. In less windy areas, one anchor can be used for every 6 to 8 inches of tarp,” says Royals.

To determine the number of anchors you need for your stack, calculate the length in feet. Divide this number by four (windy locations) or eight (nonwindy locations), add one. This is the number of anchors you need for each side of the tarp. Double the number for the total number of anchors for your stack.

Made entirely in the U.S., a 12-pack retails for $48.

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