Saturday, May 16, 2009

High Drama of Hay Cutting

Making hay has got to be one of if not the most anxiety producing things a farmer can do. You need hot dry weather for several consecutive days, in the spring, at the right time. Last year, we managed pretty well. The hay was cut, rolled and, even though it rained on it a bit the morning we baled it, it turned out feedable, if not sellable.
This year has been a real bust, though. With all the rain, the hay fields were lush and beautiful. But then it kept raining. The grasses were starting to get a bit stemmy and starting to flower, so we had to cut it. A gamble-either try to make the hay, or lose it to age.

It was looking pretty good
Cut on Wednesday, it rained a bit overnight. Nailbiting begins here. It dried out and was sunny on Thursday, and our hearts swelled with hope, so Steve hooked up my old Oliver hayrake and rolled it. This flips the windrow over so the underside can dry out.
Friday it rained a third of an inch. Broken and weeping, we were consoled only by the thought of a Whole lot of Mulch.
Then Saturday it was dry and sunny again! "I think I can save it!" cried Farmer Steve, firing up tractor and rake once more.
The forecast is for more rain tonight, and another half an inch tomorrow. I am afraid all is lost, and the best we can hope for is a second cutting later on in the season. What will happen next-can we save the hay? Will we all get the swine flu? Stay tuned...

1 comment:

Billie Jane said...

May here is turning out to be very very wet also... torrential rains and thunderstorms every day for 4 or 5 days now... everything is so weather dependent... with no backups, how did our forbears manage? Great respect for all of them... fingers crossed that you get a second chance at it.