Sunday, August 5, 2012

Catchin' Up - Hay Day 2012

Shelly was excited.  She was going to get the chance to wrangle a piece of hay equipment, probably the rake as it is the  mild-mannered one of the bunch of cantankerous hay machines.  She even waited around until the 3rd of July before finally deciding we were just kidding, we weren't going to hay after all this year.  And, at that point, we kinda agreed with that.  It once again, just as in 2010, appeared that if we hayed at all, it was going to be very, very late.  The cool, wet weather just wreaked havoc with haying once again in Western Oregon.  A lot of people took their chances and cut when they could, only to see downpours shred their windrows.  Others got thru cutting and drying okay, baled and then saw downpours turn expensive horse hay into cheap cattle hay.  We got lucky - Ed cut on the 4th of July in the late afternoon and we had a coupla cool days where it didn't really dry much, but then a spate of 80+ days that saw us out there raking, baling and hauling FINALLY.  Unlike 2010, we didn't get anywhere near the 4 tons/acre of that year, pulling in barely 11 tons off 12 acres.  But, we didn't fertilize as we did in 2010.  The results were mixed.  Less tonnage, but overall the quality was much, much nicer.  Plus, the hours that Dale, Shelly and I spent walking those 12 acres pulling toxic tansy ragwort and nasty bull and Canada thistle paid off in a very light weed load this time.  And the dogs enjoyed that time too, altho they spent it a little less productively than we did.

Equipment staged and ready to rock

The last loads

Doesn't look nearly as impressive as 2010's crop spilling out the door, but it's nicer stuff
I don't know how the pix got so mixed up.  The empty barn awaits

A pretty shot, but not what you want to see during hay season - that mist is wet, and wet is not good for hay

Dale top mows the non-hay part of the big north pasture

Ed and his awesome disc mower head down into the north pasture to the hay pasture

First cut

Dale checks the quality

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