However, that's just where we found ourselves a couple of weeks ago. I went with Randy to buy some small bales at the Central Livestock hay auction.
|An old sign from 1945 at Central Livestock|
So why would we need to buy hay when we raise hay? In fact, we grow alfalfa and sudan, both of which we bind up in big round bales and feed to our cattle. Randy was bidding on small square bales of hay to use as "bait hay." (That's an oxymoron, too: The "square" bales are actually rectangular. Hmmm - That's what they're called anyway.)
I may sometimes toss some hay into the air for calling the cattle, but I leave the whole bale tossing to my favorite farmer. He's been doing that since junior high days. Growing alfalfa has always been part of the crop rotation for Randy's family.
Back when Randy was a child, they used a sickle mower which laid the hay flat. Then, they would rake the hay. Since they didn't own a baler, a neighbor would bale it into square bales. Then, Randy, his brother and dad would pick up the hay from the field.
These days, he isn't bucking bales in a whole field. As auction bidder No. 835, he raised his hand and purchased two different piles of alfalfa hay, totaling 34 bales.
Our neighbor borrowed a few bales for a homecoming float. And now we're ready for those cattle-gathering expeditions this fall.