Na, na, na, na.
Hay, hay, hay!
Some of our hay is going goodbye (and not just into our cattle's stomachs).
For the first time in the past three years, we have some extra alfalfa hay to sell. After two years of extreme drought, we got enough rain this past summer to raise sufficient hay for our own cattle and then have some left to sell to others.
This year, Randy chose to market the hay through Sunflower Trading, a division of the Kanza Co-op. Randy established the price he wanted for the hay, then he contracted 10 loads of hay with Sunflower. They sold it to a feedlot near Cadillac, Texas. Sunflower arranges to have a truck come to the field to pick it up, and either Jake or Randy load the truck.
After the alfalfa is baled in the summer, the guys stack it in rows near the road. This year, we got three cuttings of hay. The first two were better quality hay than the last cutting. The feedlot was willing to take a mixture of the hay.
Jake picked up two bales at a time and brought them closer to the truck. He then loaded each one on the truck individually. The bales are placed two across on the flat-bed. For the first couple, the truck driver signals him to let him know where to place it. Then, it's kind of like building with Legos. You just keep adding "pieces" to the "design." Unfortunately, there are no handy connective pieces to keep everything stuck together like Legos.
The driver had weighed the truck at the co-op before he came to the field. After it was loaded, he went back to the co-op and they weighed the truck full before he took off for Texas. Each truck carries around 30 large round bales, weighing about 25 tons (or 50,000 pounds).
He had planned to come back on Monday, but he couldn't get his truck started in the subzero temperatures.
The load I photographed was Load 6 of the 10 we have contracted. A couple of neighbors also buy a few bales from us to feed their cattle.
Randy says it's nice to have enough hay that we're able to sell some extra this year. That "hay, hay, hay, goodbye" is kind of a happy anthem for my Kansas farmer - even if it does get stuck in my head!