Monday, August 7

Baled out

Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
Pictured here is our neighbor Coy Dan in one of his trusty John Deere tractors. Coy Dan was baling our first crop of "green graze" or Sudan grass mix. As with the rest of the country it's been near drought conditions and exteremly hot. The approximately 6.5 acres that produced 14 round bales of oat hay in late may only managed to yield 11 bales of the Sudan. That was a pretty dissappointed sight for us.

We went partners with Bruce, Coy Dan's son. Bruce and Coy Dan provided some seed and the equipment to no-till the seed in exchange for half of the hay. We also agreed to sell our half to Bruce, which at this point just barely covered the cost of the seed we bought.

This farmin' business is quite the gamble. Coy Dan, being the experience farmer, has several places rented out to produce hay this year. In a typical year he completes his haying activities by July 4. This year, with the drought conditions he's still haying, into August to get enough hay to last the winter. I suspect many farmers didn't plan as well as our wise neighbor and will be in a pinch when the laws of supply and demand catch up to hay prices this winter.


pablo said...

I use straw to mulch my trees, and I recall paying high prices last summer. I expect it will be worse this summer.

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

Hay prices down this way have gone through the roof, and yet the neighbors who were slated to do our baling this year just let our 20 acres of fescue and clover go to waste! Go figure.

I'm pretty sure they will regret their decision by the middle of winter, when they have to pay $30/bale to feed their cattle.

Duane Keys said...

Hal, what a waste of a hay field! Did they have a reason (broken tractor, anything?)?

tbirdonawire said...

I feel for you. We were lucky and had excess from last year. We're fighting to get square bales in the barn now to make sure we have enough for any cattle we might need to keep in the barn or when it's too hard to get the tractor into the pasture for the round bales. We also use the squares for the goats and rabbits. My husband also does neighbor's farms. We only have 35 acres, but he cuts approximately 100 acres.

P.S. Thanks for the comment on the loss of my goat, Bella. Our pygmys are more like pets than livestock to us.