A veterinarian sick of chasing down tarps during storms parlayed his knowledge of bone screws into a new way to strap down hay.

The Hay Anchor is a 7.5” piece of polypropylene designed to screw into a dense hay bale. Tarp straps can then be attached to the anchors to shield a single bale or a stack.

“The edges on the anchor are tapered in such a way that when you’re twisting it, it faces little resistance going in. But when you try to pull backward, it really grips that forage,” says Eddie Toms, regional sales manager for Poly Excel, which distributes the product.

Michael Royals is the Fort Collins, CO, veterinarian who developed the anchor in the mid-2000s. He knew how well bone screws held and developed prototypes based on the concept, says his daughter, Ashley Brandt. She’s also general manager of Cedar Industries, which produces the anchor.

By 2009, Brandt began marketing it around Fort Collins, and, as interest grew, began expanding the sales reach to trade shows. At a show in 2011, she crossed paths with Poly Excel and entered into a partnership with the baler twine manufacturer that year. Business has grown steadily since, she says.

“Last year we sold about 90,000,” says Brandt.

The anchor is manufactured with a 5/8” hexagonal head that can be screwed in with common tools, such as a speed wrench or impact drill. It can also be inserted by hand. The inside is porous, so under stress it flexes instead of breaks, Brandt says. “It’s much more durable that way.”

The anchor doesn’t damage hay, she adds, although it may show where it was screwed in if the bale is dense enough.

For more information, visit www.hayanchor.com.

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