Monday, February 2, 2015

Leftovers Leave Home

I am the queen of leftovers. I prefer to call them "planned overs." I like browning extra hamburger and having it ready to go for the next meal. Extra baked potatoes can take on new life in a skillet concoction or a baked potato soup.

Randy likes having leftovers, too. During a couple of years of drought, we barely raised enough alfalfa hay and sudan to feed our own cattle herd. But, for the second year, we have extra hay to spare, so we're selling the "leftovers."

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 Dodge City.

Last year, Sunflower arranged to have a truck come to the field to pick it up. However, this year, we've added a semi to our farm fleet. Randy bought a hay trailer from our neighbor. Both Randy and Jake got their Commercial Driver's Licenses (CDL), so we are hauling the hay to the feedlot ourselves. More of the money goes in our pockets that way. (More on that tomorrow.)

After the alfalfa is baled in the summer, the guys stack it in rows near the road.
Jake loaded each bale on the truck individually. The bales are placed two across on the flat-bed. 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.
After the bottom rows were in place, he added another layer, positioning the upper deck in the "groove" between two bales.
Once the bales were in place, the guys strapped them down. It's a good thing Randy's not afraid of heights!
The guys try to use the wind to their advantage. With the wind blowing from the north, Jake tossed the straps from north to south so the wind could help boost his throw.
During the trip, these metal braces also help support the bales on the trailer. 
Randy added Wide Load signs to the front and back of the truck, along with flags on the front and back bales. 
 In tomorrow's post, I go along for the ride to the feedlot. 


  1. Looks like a good day for carting out hay. I look forward to hearing about your trip.

    1. Thanks, Lynda! It was much colder yesterday. No wearing just shirt sleeves around here the past few days!