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  1. #1
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Default Asphalt for storing hay

    I was reading the Hay and Forage grower magazine and there is a guy who started using asphalt to store his hay on. He said he doesn't get any spoilage like he did using stone, gravel or concrete and he doesn't get any stone or gravel stuck to the bottom bales. He said the asphalt doesn't allow moisture up through like concrete which makes sense. He ended up paving 8.5 acres (inside and outside of his hay barns). This way he doesn't have to deal with mud or dust in or around his buildings and his trucks and equipment stay cleaner and make it easier to load and unload his trailers. He is a large outfit so I understand his reasoning but I am thinking about trying it inside my next pole building as well as outside the main door.

    If I recall he said he paved his 8.5 acres at 6" thick because of how heavy his equipment was but recommended at least 4". Has anyone tried asphalt inside their hay barns?


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  2. #2
    Super Member JB4310's Avatar
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    J.D. 4310 E-hydro

    Default Re: Asphalt for storing hay

    I have no idea but I think your wise seeking advise, I'd be suspicious.

    Sure seems like the oils in asphalt would maybe make it less pervious to wicking up moisture but it's not as stable as concrete.

    I think the key is the base, with a well drained base the concrete should not wick water up thru, I've thought about using asphalt floors in out buildings but mainly to save money, concrete floor in a building will outlast the building, don't think asphalt would hold up, especially if you did any type of maintenance in there, like jacking vehicles, placing equipment etc.
    If the space was strictly used for forage then maybe a good idea, and you may get away with less attention to draining the base.

    As far as outside, a proper base is most important. without it asphalt does not fare well no matter how thick it's put down. I would suspect that the operation you read about was not in a deep freeze/frost zone, look at any parking lot around your area, after a few years you can see what this harsh environment does to anything laying/placed on the ground.

    8.5 acres of 6" thick asphalt, wouldn't want to get that bill

    Good Luck,
    JB.
    JD 4310; E hydro, 300CX, 48 BH, 60" box, 72" rake, 72" rear blade, cast pallet forks, 48", 61"HD & 73" high volume bucket.
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  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Asphalt for storing hay

    Another potential problem would be tearing up the surface of the asphalt on hotter days with the tractor tires. The notion of asphalt is intriguing but I haven't seen it used in my area.

  4. #4
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Asphalt for storing hay

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_in_NY View Post
    I was reading the Hay and Forage grower magazine and there is a guy who started using asphalt to store his hay on. He said he doesn't get any spoilage like he did using stone, gravel or concrete and he doesn't get any stone or gravel stuck to the bottom bales. He said the asphalt doesn't allow moisture up through like concrete which makes sense. He ended up paving 8.5 acres (inside and outside of his hay barns). This way he doesn't have to deal with mud or dust in or around his buildings and his trucks and equipment stay cleaner and make it easier to load and unload his trailers. He is a large outfit so I understand his reasoning but I am thinking about trying it inside my next pole building as well as outside the main door.

    If I recall he said he paved his 8.5 acres at 6" thick because of how heavy his equipment was but recommended at least 4". Has anyone tried asphalt inside their hay barns?

    Maybe an epoxy coating on concrete would solve the moisture problem. A lot less expensive than 4-6 inches of asphalt paving.

  5. #5
    Silver Member zionview's Avatar
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    Default Re: Asphalt for storing hay

    We occasionally stored round bales on asphalt that we brushed mortar mix into to seal it, but I'm just not seeing the advantage here. It's been mentioned about tearing it up on hot days, and I'd think it might seal against the hay and make a spoiled layer next to the asphalt. I really wonder if that would pay.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member Hoosier Hay Man's Avatar
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    Kioti DK45S Cab, Quicktach FEL

    Default Re: Asphalt for storing hay

    I read the same article and one guy is in ND and the other in Ohio. the gentleman form ND grows about 3000 acres of alfalfa and alfalfa/grass mix hay a year. Handles up to 40,000 tons a year.
    From the photos in the article it looks really nice. His barns are steel frame open hay barns. He uses a John Deere teleloader to load large square bales.
    Wouldn't want to use a skid loader on a hot day.
    It would work if it is as the other said a firm base and plenty thick. Use caution on hot days.

    The problem I have with my concrete floors in my barns is sweating when we get these rapid temp swings we have had this winter. We have seen 70deg changes in 3 days. -20 below to 50 in about three days.

    Definitly be an expensive endevor.
    Thanks,

    HHM

    Tractors include 2009 Kioti DK45S Cab, 1974 JD4430, 1952 Oliver 77, 1953 JD50, 1940 JD A, 1938 Farmall F-14,

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    Everlast PowerArc 200

  7. #7
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Asphalt for storing hay

    I'm not a believer in concrete wicking water up from the ground. If you take a four inch thick piece of concrete and set it in a two inch puddle of water, the top of that concrete will never get wet. There will be a small amount of moisture travel up the side of that concrete, but zero of it will be inside of the concrete and zero moisture will work it's way to the top of the concrete. Simple test.

    For those who think water comes out of the ground and onto their concrete, consider the the soil under the concrete is going to be dryer then the soil outside of the house. If you have so much moisture under the concrete, then you have other issues. If you think that this non existante moisture is working it way up through solid concrete, then look under your bathtub. The drain lines on most tubs go through an opening in the slab that is wide open to the soil under the slab. It's going to be bone dry because moisture isn't under concrete after it's sat for a year or more.

    Why asphalt would be better then concrete is a mystery. While I would consider the amount of oil in the asphault to be minimal for the animals eating the hay, the asphault itself is going to be much, much more pourous the concrete. On very hot days, asphalt gets soft. Having it thick enough should halp prevent allot of the damage that 2 inch driveways go through, but at what expense?

    Eddie

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Asphalt for storing hay

    Concrete does indeed wick but a vapour barrier under stops it. In humid areas like Eddie's condensation from the room is a bigger problem I'm sure.

    Locally there are some sileage pits that are asphalted and also one guys hay barn.

    Its so expensive now I don't know if it is worth it.

    BTW Asphalt lets moisture through too unless a sealer is applied. It does slow it down a lot though. All the DOT salt domes here have it for floors and they are still having problems contaminating neighbouring wells.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Asphalt for storing hay

    I'm building a new hay barn now, and have been trying to figure out the best floor too. From what I understand, any moisture coming up from the ground can be blocked with a plastic vapor barrier. However, there is still some moisture left in the hay, and that is why concrete even with a vapor barrier isn't the best since the bottom of the hay can't breathe. I was told that you can get a coarse grade of asphalt, similar to the stuff used in base layers of roads, that has minimal fines and is therefore very porous. As long as the aspahalt is covered under the roof, I don't think the heat would soften it that much. Other option is crushed stone, but I would think that would become a mess eventually with loose hay mixed in. I'll be using a bale wagon, so pallets aren't a possibility.

  10. #10
    Elite Member AKfish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Asphalt for storing hay

    Quote Originally Posted by slowzuki View Post
    Concrete does indeed wick but a vapour barrier under stops it. In humid areas like Eddie's condensation from the room is a bigger problem I'm sure.
    I think that what's really going on is - the concrete slab is cooler than the surrounding air - and the warmer, moist air in contact with the concrete surface condenses; and the moisture collects on the surface; i.e "sweats".

    I've read that one approach to reduce concrete "sweating" is to place an insulating layer of blue foam insulation between the poured concrete and the ground. Won't eliminate the problem entirely but will make it "less" of a problem.

    AKfish
    "Most people want to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."

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