In which I am finally able to collect hay while the sun shines

I daresay that a lot of y'all are going to be jealous.  

I've heard that the droughts in the midwest are driving up hay prices, and making feed just dang hard to find.

That's not our problem here in the Swampland.

Loaded from the field, directly onto the truck.
Saves the grower some time and energy, saves me some money.

The problem isn't growing.  Our hay crops have been growing like crazy.
Nice kid.

The problem has been drying.  This field, located less than 3 miles from Haiku Farm has been cut and teddered 3 times to get it dry enough to bale.

Two nice kids. I guess there are "rotten" kids in the world,
but I only ever seem to encounter nice kids.  Huh.

These nice kids loaded my hay for me, and told me how much work they had put into the field.  Usually it takes a week to cut/winnow/bale.  This year it took almost a month, because every time they'd hitch up the equipment to the elderly International Harvester tractor, a little bit of rain would fall.


That's pretty much what happened at my end, too:  every time I would write "Get hay today" on the calendar, we'd have precipitation.  Today I avoided saying the "H" word all day until the hay was actually on the truck in the driveway.  Whew.

I am truly sorry that we can't share all our water-y blessings with those who need it this summer.  We've had more than enough.

I moved all that hay into the barn, and Samantha Barncat barely woke up.
She doesn't believe in wasting energy, especially her own energy.

I brought the load of hay home and stacked it in the hay room.  It's not great-quality hay.  We don't grow great-quality hay in the Swampland.  Our hay (when rain doesn't turn it into "cow-only" hay) is sufficient to give horses forage when the pastures get too wet/sn*wy to provide food.  It's selenium-poor, and stemmy, but it's food and my horses aren't terribly picky when the weather gets bad.  And here's the good part:  50-pound bales loaded onto my truck for 3 bucks a bale.  Bring cash.  

I buy good-quality hay from the Dry Side of our state for a lot more than $3/bale.  Rumor has it that some farmers over there are selling hay at a premium price to the beleagered folks in the drought regions.  I don't blame them for trying to make a profit.  I'm glad that I don't have to buy enough to feed 50+ horses through the winter, so I'll probably find enough to keep the mares fed.  

Cash helps with that transaction also, as does a willingness to pick up hay in the field.

Luna is my hay-helper.  

Luna doesn't actually do any work, but she looks very pretty while she doesn't work.  Doesn't she?


  1. We baled about 400-500 ton of semi-crappy (not quite cow-only) hay last week, that had the same timeline as yours: cut, ted, dry, rain, ted, dry, rain, ted dry, rain... Looked better than I thought it would, but definitely no longer export quality. :-(
    Luckily, I got ten ton of the previous week's hay in my barn--it had only been rained on, lightly, once, before we got it in.

    1. I'm sorry to hear that your crop has been semi-crappy--so much rain is really unusual for y'all!

      Do you know if your buddy Paul has some good stuff? No hurry, I have no time to make a run for at least two weeks. Maybe we could meet up for a glass of iced tea when I sprint over the hill to get hay?

  2. Luna is always pretty (!) Our hay has actually been pretty good this year, here in central/northern California. I'm grateful.

  3. Since I don't live too far from you, we go through the same thing. We just bought 2 tons from the field and we were lucky enough to get it before it rained and ruined it. It will probably be bad hay year with all the rain we have had. I am assuming we will have to buy some of the Eastern grass this winter when we run out of local. That will be expensive!
    We have a hay helper too. There is just something about the hay that dogs love!!

  4. There was a sign at the feed store this weekend that basically said "We will keep prices steady as long as we can, but it's not looking good."

    I switched Blue back to the fancy, expensive senior feed about a month ago. He looks fantastic, but I don't know what I will do if it gets above $30 a bag.


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