How can you tell how much a weight (in hay) a hayloft can hold?
I'm thinking of having timothy/alfalfa hay shipped down from the north (I'm on the gulf coast and hate the coastal bermuda). Right now, I store my hay on the ground, stacked on one half of my barn. I have a rather large loft, but didn't store hay up there because it's an old barn and I'm nervous about how much it can hold. Plus I have room on the ground and I order local (so I don't need to stockpile), so why bother throwing it up top? But if I can ship this stuff down, I'd like to utilize as much space as I can.
Get a trusted builder or engineer to evaluate it. Lofts can hold different amounts depending on their support structures...some can hold as much as you can stack, others are not safe to hold any significant weight. No one here can you with accuracy.
Just to give you an idea of what a barn loft can hold, we
have a traditional dairy barn, around 25x50 footprint.
When we were still doing square bales, we would put
5000 bales at 40 pounds each into the barn loft. That
works out to 200,000 pounds or 100 tons. The barn is
pretty old; our 90 year old neighbor was a young teen
when he helped the neighbors do a barn raising of
what is now our dairy barn (he still remembers that it
was the first time he got to drink beer with the grown