A large Oxfordshire dairy farm harvests and purchases hay for cattle feed and bedding. Hay is stored under polythene sheeting which breaks and causes large amounts of wasted hay each year.
EiE assessed the cost of lost hay through decomposition and vermin, compared to the cost of hay purchased to replace loss. It was found that the cost of loss and weather protection was over £20,000 per year. Investment costs for a structure for hay storage were estimated at around £50,000, paying back within 2 years.
The farm could therefore apply for funding sources to help reduce waste with a strong business case to support their applications.