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Storing







Clovers are ready to store when enough moisture has left the stems to prevent excessive fermentation when put into the place of storage. Hay that has been cured in the cock is much less liable to heat when stored so as to produce mould, than hay cured in the swath or winrow. The former has already gone through the heating process or, at least, partially so. Some experience is necessary to enable one to be quite sure as to the measure of the fitness of hay for being stored. When it can be pitched without excessive labor it is ready for being stored, but the unskilled will not likely be able to judge of this accurately. If a wisp is taken some distance from the top of the winrow or cock and twisted between the hands, if moisture exudes it is too damp, and if the hay breaks asunder readily it is too dry. When no moisture is perceptible and yet the wisp does not break asunder, the hay is ready to be drawn. Care must be taken that the wisp chosen be representative of the mass of the hay. To make sure of this, the test should be applied several times. Where practicable the aim should be to store clover hay under cover, owing to the little power which it has to shed rain in the stack. This is only necessary, however, in climates with considerable rainfall during the year and where irrigation is practised, as in the mountain States clover hay may be kept in the stack without any loss from rain, and it can be cured exactly as the ranchman may desire, since he is never embarrassed when making hay by bad weather. When storing clovers, the time of the day at which it is stored influences the keeping qualities of the hay. Hay stored at noontide may keep properly, whereas, if the same were stored while dew is falling it might be too damp for being thus stored. Much care should be taken in stacking clover hay that it may shed rain properly. The following should be observed among other rules of less importance that may be given: 1. Make a foundation of rails, poles or old straw or hay that will prevent the hay near the ground from taking injury from the ground moisture. 2. Keep the heart of the stack highest from the first and the slope gradual and even from the center toward the sides. 3. Keep the stack evenly trodden, or it will settle unevenly, and the stack will lean to one side accordingly. 4. Increase the diameter from the ground upward until ready to draw in or narrow to form the top. 5. Aim to form the top by gradual rather than abrupt narrowing. 6. Top out by using some other kind of hay or grass that sheds the rain better than clover. 7. Suspend weights to some kind of ropes, stretching over the top of the stack to prevent the wind from removing the material put on to protect the clover from rain.





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