Recent reports of hay bale fires should remind growers to continue to monitor stacks and storage barns.
Generally, hay fires occur within six weeks after baling, but have been known to occur even after a year. They begin through a process called “spontaneous combustion, which depends on the initial moisture content of the hay, the ease with which moisture can dissipate from the bales and environmental conditions.”
Hay fires have increased as more growers have switched to large square bales.
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