Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hay, Hay, Hay ... Goodbye

The hay crop on the County Line so far reminds me of that old 1970s song. (Yes, all you copy editors out there: I know I spelled the song wrong in my headline. Creative license, you know!)

See those two bales behind the tractor and baler? That was the total of the crop in one 40-acre field. Sad, isn't it? A normal first cutting in that field would yield about 55 bales.

It just hasn't rained enough to produce much alfalfa. Bugs also dined on the crop, despite spraying with two applications of insecticide. Expensive insecticide, I might add.

The first cutting is often the best cutting. Let's hope that's not the case this year.

After swathing the field, Randy couldn't find enough alfalfa to rake it together into a windrow.

The bales are from last year's harvest, but I wanted to show that it really is an alfalfa field, so I used the old bales as a little window dressing.

On the other end of the same field, Randy raked two windrows together to make it easier to bale, but he was still stirring up dust because of the sparse yield.

That 40-acre field was the worst. In April, Randy planted some oats into another old alfalfa field. The yield was better with the oats/alfalfa combination, though some rain still would have helped increase the harvest.

We rent the big-yielding, 2-bale field from another owner. We pay 2/3 of the expenses and get 2/3 of the crop. Let's see: How do you divide 2 bales into thirds? We will pray for a better second and third cutting, I guess.

Otherwise, we will still be singing, "Hay, Hay, Hay ... Goodbye."

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