2000 - Volume #24, Issue #2, Page #29[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Farmer-Designed Low Cost Portable Hay Shelter
The brothers spent two years experimenting before they came up with a design for a shelter that would meet all their needs. After they'd proved the design worked, they started getting inquiries from other farmers. Now, the brothers manufacture the hay shelters as a sideline to their farming operation.
The Assenheimers say their shelters preserve hay color and quality. They're less expensive than erecting a permanent building (just over half the cost) and can be easily dismantled to move or sell. Although they're more costly than using simple tarps, the portable shelters are extremely labor saving, provide much better airflow around the stacks, and are far more durable, they say.
"At the end of a long day of haying, no one wants to do a bunch of tarping," says Jerry Hodge of Sun West Forage, the company marketing the hay shelters. "When you cover a stack with tarps, moisture gets trapped under them. Occasionally, in the export business, you have to hold your hay for a whole year before moving it, and if there's moisture under there the top row can be damaged."
Each "Sun West Shelter" is 27 ft. wide by 96 ft. long by 25 ft. high and holds 26 typical bale wagon stacks. They're also suitable for machinery storage.Because of the roof's pitch, snow slides off before any accumulation can put stress on the cover. The buildings are modular, meaning that the design is such that two or more shelters can be connected to each other. Gable ends are also an available option.
Arnold Assenheimer is an engineer, as well as a farmer, and he designed the shelters strong, with steel uprights every 6 ft. and 38 cable winches that tightly hold the one-piece canvas cover.
Standard Sun West Shelters building packages are currently priced at $6,924 (Canada), FOB Westlock, Alberta.
Contact: FARM SHOW Follow-up, Jerry Hodge, Sun West Forage, Box 5538, Westlock, Alberta, Canada, T7P 2P5 (ph 780 349-4329; fax 780 349-5160).
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