YESTERDAY WE ACHIEVED THE HOLY GRAIL OF FARMING. That would be getting hay into the barn without a drop of rain ever touching it since the crop was mowed thanks to a dry hot spell.
At one end of the spectrum, farmer friends in Nebraska – where it’s hot AND dry – have bragged they can cut hay in the morning and bale that same afternoon.
In cool Maine, depending on how early in the haying season it is, it usually takes three days for Timothy Grass hay to dry. Add another day or two if there is Clover mixed in because of Clover’s thicker stems. Cross that with the historical fact that it is typical for Maine to get a shower or two most weeks and you come to understand why Maine rain-free hay is not common.
One wet Summer about 40 years ago the rain pattern was so well established that while still working on a first cut into August, we’d mow hay while a current rain was winding down in order to be able to bale it before the beginning of the next rain event.
In recent decades, big ’round bales’ have made haying much less labor intensive and more equipment intensive. Here, Caleb is using our Skidsteer loader outfitted with a red hay spear to unload 800-pound round bales (equivalent to 40 ‘square’ bales) and put them away in the tarp barn.
Thunderstorms are likely here this afternoon and evening continuing into Monday. Caleb, Megan & Jim