That’s right! We are making Hay (coastal bermuda hay, that is). Fortunately our property came with 12 acres of beautiful coastal bermuda hay, which we support and sell to the local cattle ranchers and horse owners.
Some years we have great production (when we get a lot of rain) and some years not so much, as with every farm/garden it depends on good ol’ mother nature to keep it going. This year has started off pretty good and we have already had our first cut, since the cut we have not had any rain so we shall see how it goes.
I thought I would just give you a little information on how the production comes about. Well, we hire guys to come out and spray weed kill and fertilize twice a year, once in the early spring and once in the fall, we strive for quality hay, so we try to keep the stickers out and produce thick sweet delicious hay for those cows and horses.
Then we watch our hay grow and when it gets about 15 to 18 inches high, it is ready to cut, we then hire a crew to come and cut, rake, and bale the hay. We sell our hay in large round bales, thou we have had it baled into square bales before. The square bales are so much more time and labor intensive because you have to physically pick up each 70 lb bale and load on a trailer and then unload it again where it is stacked and stored in a protected environment (which we do not currently have).
Most horse customers want the square bales and they want it delivered, which means you then have to load the trailer again and unload at the site. This is another expense but we do charge extra for this.
The cattle customers want the round bales and would also love a delivery service. We are not currently set up for the delivery so our customers come to get the hay themselves and Gary loads the bales with his tractor. My husband would love to buy a very large trailer someday to provide the delivery service, again we could charge extra for this. I also hope that he will someday get that trailer.
I have a few photos here for you to see the process. First, the hay is cut, ooh I wish you could smell this, it smells like fresh baked sweet bread to me, I just Love it!
The baling contraption sucks up the hay and rolls it into large round bales
and here is how it looks in the field…so pretty… Now I wanted to show you how it is loaded, but I went out of town for a day and when I got back, Gary already loaded it for the happy customer and it was all gone, so I missed my chance to get the photos. I will try to get photos of the weed kill and fertilizer being sprayed on the field next time as well.
The couple working the hay equipment are a husband and wife team, pretty cool huh? Esther is doing the raking and John is doing the baling!
Hope you enjoyed this little lesson on making Hay!
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