Iowa State University Extension has a new tool available on its Ag Decision Maker website. The “Hay Storage Cost Comparison" is a free spreadsheet that compares the cost of up to eight hay storage options at once, and calculates total annual cost including spoilage losses and hay available for feed or sale.

The Excel-based spreadsheet considers several types of cost in its analysis after users enter expected volume of hay produced or needed, current hay prices and the size of bales they use. Although hay is the third most valuable crop produced in Iowa, some producers lose up to a fourth of their crop from improper storage.