Jun 26, 2012

Making Hay




Our alfalfa has been ready for the second cutting for over a week now.  But trying to find enough days to cut it and let it dry without risk of rain has been challenging.  We are in a draught but even a threat of rain could ruin the cutting.  We finally found a five day stretch with only a slight chance of rain one morning of that five day stretch.  And only a 40% chance.  That’s a 60% chance it won’t rain, right?  It rained. 




All was not lost.  We only got about thirty hundredths and since it has been so hot lately, it dried it out pretty well.  The humidity in the air caused it to dry a little slower than we’d like, but I think it will be a good cutting.  Although the field is on our land, our neighbor is our hay guy.  He plants it, fertilizes, and cuts it for us – along with worries over the rain – and he gets a share for this efforts. 



Our first cutting was put up in big round bales which we will put in the feeders in the corral in the winter.  This cutting is done in small bales and will supplement the grass hay on cold winter nights.  It is also our camping hay.  Our hay guy, Marv, is driving the John Deere and Case and John are on the rack stacking it as it comes out of the baler.  The dog is there because Case told him to ride the rack and he always does what we tell him except when he is herding.  Then he doesn’t.  But having him on the rack does make for interesting pictures. 



If you want to ride the rack, here you go.  The alfalfa has been cut and left for days in windrows.  The baler rakes up these rows …. and here is where I get really technical….  it smushes them into square bales and wraps it with wire and pushes it out behind.  Really, its just magic.  Kind of like the fax machine.  Never have figured out how that works.  Once again:  no reason for the dog on the rack other than the dog can be on the rack. 




We put up 355 bales of which half will go in our barn.  Although Case worked the rack, he had to go to condition at the high school this evening so I helped unload the racks.  My arms hurt and I itch.  Grocery shopping is so much easier.  The things we do for these horses.




  1. Great Hay! Dont think we`ll be doing any soon, as the weather is appalling! Even the Sileage was poor.

  2. The top photo is stunning and the video brings back memories. Sometimes we would get three cuttings in a season (I hated that as a kid). Ah yes, hot summer days, long sleeves and jeans. I remember when the neighbor boys came to earn some money in shorts and no-sleeve shirts. My sister and I snickered when they finally gave in and went home to change. (ha ha, city boys!)

  3. Awesome hay!!
    I am still hoping it dries out enough to have a 1st cutting, but it has been so wet that it might not happen for awhile. We could have a bad hay season. Just too much rain.
    I wish we had enough acreage to do our own hay!!


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