While some areas of the country are experiencing extreme drought, here in Ohio we feel like we might just need to build an ark. June brought us 20 straight days of rain and a total of 23 out of 30 days of rain for the month. We collected over 12 1/2 inches of rain just in June.
All of the rain has made hay making nearly impossible. If you were one the brave ones that didn't listen to the weathermen, you may have taken advantage of the 4 rain free days on Memorial Day weekend to cut hay. We listened to the forecast that called for rain and didn't cut. The next 3 day window without rain was July 4th weekend. We jumped...but we were only brave enough to cut the 8 acres at home.
Even though the weather cooperated, it was not a good time for us to cut hay. It was the week before the big archery tournament and we were frantically trying to get everything ready for over 1,000 shooters to arrive. Daniel managed to carve out a few hours to cut. We ended up having our neighbor rake and round bale for us because there just wasn't enough time to do it all.
Another challenge of July 4th weekend was that all the wheat farmers had been sitting inside watching the rain just like us. Everyone was scrambling to cut wheat and bale hay and straw at the same time and all using the same equipment. We have developed some great working relationships with neighbors and swap equipment around as someone needs it. It got a little interesting with everyone jockying tractors, trailers, balers and helpers.
By the end of the weekend we had helped the neighbors bale, transport and wrap straw. They then headed to our house to help us move and sleeve our hay bales. At one point the mom's looked at each other and had no idea where any of our kids were or how they had gotten from point A to point B. But, it all got done and we even came up with some creative babysitting arrangements.
However...baling did not come without consequences. Just because the weather was dry and the hay was dry did not mean that the ground was dry.
We had a smooth hay field.
Last fall our neighbor spread 2 loads on chicken manure on this hay field. We ended up getting 40 round bales off of the field. That is almost double our crop from last year.
This week we dropped both fields of hay over at Tucker Rd. This is actually our neighbor finishing up the cutting for us. All year the neighbor's tractor has been breaking down and he has had to borrow our green tractor. Unfortunately, the John Deere broke down in the middle of cutting, so the neighbor came and baled us out with his newly repaired tractor. It's feels like musical tractors around here lately.
Yes...it is the week before fair.
Yes...we are supposed to be working the cows.
But...make hay when the sun shines.
We baled 188 square bales and 35 round bales.
We now have enough round bales and barely enough square bales to get us through the winter. We will probably not get a second cutting off of all of the hay fields this year. We are hoping to bale a few more bales as a buffer for us and then have some hay to sell this winter.
All the hay is stacked in the barns and all the hay equipment is put away.
Now...It's fair time!
Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.