Thursday, June 11, 2020

Making Hay

There is no reason to fear the wind
if your stack of hay is well tied. 
Irish Proverb

Proverbs are all well and good. But, you might need to fear the wind before you get the hay in the bale.

It's been breezy (an understatement) as Randy has swathed and baled much of the first cutting of 2020 alfalfa. Get enough gusty wind, and it scatters the windrows. The hot and windy weather has also made it challenging to get the moisture in the bales just right  - not too dry and not too wet, as Goldilocks might say. 

But another proverb has come to pass for this first cutting of hay, at least here on The County Line.
Whan the sunne shinth make hay.
Whiche is to say.
Take time whan time cometh,
lest time steale away.
John Heywood, English proverb, 1546
In other words, "Make hay while the sun shines."

Believe me: Just like farmers of the 1500s, today's producers want to make hay while the sun shines. Some area farmers had swathed hay a couple of weeks ago. However, after looking at the weather forecast for that timeframe, Randy opted to leave it standing, so it didn't get rained upon.

Our alfalfa was behind because of an infestation of alfalfa weevils earlier this spring. After the co-op sprayed it, it took awhile for the alfalfa to rebound.
Because of the insects, our first cutting provided less tonnage than normal, though the quality was good, my resident hay expert says.
But now all 128 of our acres - plus 30 custom swathed and baled for a neighbor - is in big round bales.
The bales were moved to the edge of the road, so we'll be ready to feed them to our cows next winter.
File photo from The County Line
For a comprehensive look at swathing and baling hay from start to finish (with lots more photos), visit this previous link.

The hot, dry and windy weather is also propelling us toward wheat harvest. Ready or not, here it comes! My resident farmer anticipates a start early next week. We'll see if that's accurate or his optimism talking. Stay tuned!


  1. Staying tuned and hoping the harvest lives up to the resident farmer's expectations.

    1. I don't think it will be today (Monday), but it's another week of hot and windy weather, so it'll be soon.