Early this spring we sowed our field into a wheat/grass pasture mix rather than continuing the row crop rotation that it had been on. After a good spring and start to summer the pasture was ready for its first cutting and crop, but being the newbies that we are, it took our neighbor to inform us of this.
As wet as this summer has been, all the local farmers were dying to take their first hay crop of the summer. But the week before last we caught a string of beautiful sunny days, and it was as if every hayfield in the county was cut. We were fortunate to have our neighbor Ted sneak our farm in between working his own ground. Realizing our situation, and by situation I mean ignorance, Ted informed us it would be best to cut it a bit higher to all ow the grass to choke out some of the other weeds and encourage a better regrowth. So at the beginning of the week Ted came through with his equipment and cut the hay, leaving it in windrows across the field so it could dry.
After a few days of drying Ted came on Saturday to do the bailing. He brought the trailers of bales over the barn, and we (mostly Jack) loaded them onto the bale elevator, which brought them to the hay mow in the top of the barn. Mark and I stacked the bales, ending up with just over 250. We thought that was pretty impressive until Ted told us that up until last year he was putting up 25,000 bales a summer. But, as Mark said, baling our own pasture really made us feel like “real” farmers. Now we just need something to do with all the hay.