Monday, July 27, 2009

Oat Hay, something new

Finished up some oat hay baling last night. Luckily the tractor has lights, I finished in the dark. It is amazing how thick the oat hay was. The field that I cut next door yielded about 1 bale per 3 acres, the oats were about 4-5 bales PER ACRE! Next year I am going to consider putting oats in for hay, we will see how it feeds out this winter. The hard part with oats is getting it to dry, it took over a week to get it to dry. Grass can normally be baled in 2-3 days. Hopefully this week we will be done with the hay and then we can move onward, back to fencing. Does anyone out there have a pickup flatbed for sale? We bought "half of a truck" and need a flatbed for it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Hay

Started cutting on the home place,it is looking a lot more promising. It is not as tall as last year, but still pretty thick. We should have enough to sell to our hay customers and plenty for ourselves. It is a lot easier cutting this year than last, a lot of what we cut last year had not been cut in years and the between the rebel trees and gopher mounds it was tough going. The Vermeer 5400 we rented from Wollers has been working out real good. I was a little nervous running it at first but I am starting to become an old pro. The new hay shed is going to come in handy this year.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hay Cutting

We started cutting hay this week and it is not looking real promising. The dry weather we had this early spring really set the grass back. To top this off, we spread about 1000 yards of manure from two horse barns. Manure from the one barn had a lot of sawdust in it that I thought was thorougly composted, well, it was not. From what I read, sawdust tends to absord nitrogen from the soil when it initially breaks down. Later, after it decomposes it will realease the nitrogen back into the soil. This condition leads to stunted grass. Until that time we will have thick but awfully short hay. So many lessons to learn! At least we have extra hay leftover from last year. This year will be something new for us, we are going to attempt to roll our own hay bales. Last year we hired Jim Knopik from Randal to tie bales for us. He did a great job with his Vermeer 604 baler. It put up great 4x5.5 bales that were wrapped nice and tight. Unfortunately he sold his baler and bought a new one that puts up 5x6 bales. They will be too heavy to handle and on the open market, most of our customers cannot handle the weight of a 5x6 bale. (our 4x5.5's were running around 1000 lbs, the 5x6's would be around 1600!) Thanks to Steve at Woller Equipment ( we were able to rent a baler for 2009. We were thinking about buying a used one, but just did not want to spend the money on a used one. We are going to hold out for next year and buy a new one. Time to get to bed, enjoyed the fireworks in Brainerd with the family.