As a farmer, you likely have a lot of money tied up in your hay. With several large barns full of haystacks, you might be looking at an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition to the monetary value of your hay, you spend a lot of your time growing, cutting, baling, stacking and then getting it to market. So it makes sense to protect that investment of both time and money by keeping your stacks safe. Knowing the risks and how to prevent them is the best way to do that.
One of the main risks to haystacks is fire. There are several circumstances that can create a fire risk around your haystacks. The first is moisture within the stacks, which can create heat, in turn causing a chemical reaction that leads to spontaneous combustion. There are several ways to ensure that your stacks are dry, including fully curing your hay before you stack it, keeping the hay in a dry, covered, well-ventilated area, allowing for air flow between bales, and monitoring closely for moisture inside your bales.
Other fire risks include hot summer temperatures, lightning strikes, ignition sparks from nearby equipment, a low hanging bulb, chemicals, and discarded cigarettes.
Besides fire, your hay can be destroyed or contaminated by mold, pests, and the weather. Floods or heavy rain can destroy an otherwise well-protected supply of hay. Pests and mold can contaminate a batch and make it dangerous to humans and inedible to livestock.
Another risk that some farmers fail to consider is inadequate insurance coverage. Most insurance policies contain a stack limit that is based on value, not size or volume. One of the ways to protect your haystacks is to make sure you know what your insurance limits are based on the value of your stacks. If your policy doesn’t cover everything, make the appropriate adjustments. Your insurance agent can help you with that.
Investing in good storage options and adequate insurance are two of the best ways to protect your haystacks. If you would like to speak to an experienced agent who can help you determine the right coverage to meet your needs, contact Beehive Insurance today.