We wouldn't know what to do if all our fields were contiguous... or even in the same mile radius..... Oh well...
Got the cow done, DS had dropped by the house as I was getting ready and left a can of fuel to put in the tractor. I went to rake the little acre or so piece. Put the fuel in the tractor and left and came back towards the barn area, and went down in the back and got that piece raked. DS says it is about 9 acres total in that piece... not all of it usable, but at least 6-7 in the hay.
There were a lot of thistles and I raked around some of the clumps... he cut them to stop them from flowering... There are a ton of ground hog holes and some rock ledge, so it was a pain to rake the hill side but it wasn't too bad down in the flat.
So all done raking by noon and then I took the tractor and rake back to the barn as we are going in the opposite direction a mile or 2 to do the custom piece. But that will have to wait as there are 30-40% chance of showers ALL next week after the 4th.
DS picked me up at doug's barn, took me back to my car. He was supposed to get off work early, and was not happy as it was nearly 1 p.m. when he was getting off. He had to replace a belt in the baler, and do a few other things then was going to go bale. He had planned to be off by 10 or 10:30...
Since he was running so far behind, I offered to go feed and water his chickens... in this heat they needed it. Filled the water trough there for his sheep too. He has several pens of chicks that his father hatched, and they go through the water. They all looked okay so got them done and then left for work. The sky to the west was getting that "thunderstorm" dark clouds and all LOOK to it. I kept thinking, please, no, don't rain for a couple hours... I so do not want to have to tedd out the hay and rerake it....
The farm I went to test was doing the same thing... Rushing to get several fields finished baling and the hay moved into the barn as this is hay they want to sell this winter. The son was there to milk with me testing and it was fine... I have tested with him and the father many times.
They got a sprinkling, but it passed by. I understand some places a little north and west go downpours.
We also were lucky. DS texted me when I was on my way home and said he was done, all baled. It was sprinkling a little then....7:30 or so.... but it was done before I got home... nothing to speak of. I looked on the "past radar" a little bit ago, and it was pretty serious west of here, but had pretty much dissipated by the time it got here. Now there is nothing in the radar before about noon tomorrow.
I did take the time to put the one load of jeans and a couple work shirts on the line, and figured if they got wet, oh well. Looks like I will get them off in the morning as it is saying sun and partly cloudy until about noon. Everyone I know that had hay down, has gotten it baled so a good rain on these fields would be great. We are not really dry.... the southern central part of the state is in an "abnormally dry" state.... but looks like that ought to pretty much get taken care of this next week. We actually have had some decent rain... a week or so without some rain makes it dry generally. The corn is looking good and not rolling so I know it is not real dry out there. These temps in the low 90's will dry it out fast.
It was 80 at 8 a.m. this morning... that is hot for here that early in the day.
I will have to get a count of the rolls of hay and see where we are at. I expect that GF will be moving them... she likes to do stuff that is in the comfort of the ac truck.... whatever.... works for me.
Hopefully he is going to get some of the cows and calves already at the barn worked and moved. The bunk was empty at the barn this morning again; but I had no time to even think about worrying who was in or not. Just put the feed in there like no big deal and they ought to go in like normal. I haven't been there except for morning and night feeding of the cow. Tomorrow might be able to get some in and get moved.
I did take a 15 gallon barrel of water this evening, to the calves in the pen, that are on the nurse cow. They were cleaning up the grain that the cow missed. Time to start feeding them a little bit. after the cow goes out so they will learn to come in the creep gate like the other ones do. Plus, if there is no rain, then the troughs will not collect any rain water and they were all dry.
Time for a shower, all the sticky sweaty clothes are going in the laundry basket. Start "clean" in the morning.... I am tired too.... been a long day.
Haven't looked at the garden in 3 or 4 days either.... not since I weedeated around the squash and cucumber and melon plants...and tied up the last few tomatoes the other day...... got to get the rest of the areas cleared and mulched but at least you can find the plants and all.
Sat morning. Up and at 'em... It is 80 at 11 and muggy. Radar shows showers to the north, some possible strong to severe isolated storms. Looks like we will get some rain or something after 1 or 2....
Got up and did a load of clothes early, hung out and then went to cow. Got that done, went and got air tank and blew up tire on forester to take down to co-op but they are slam busy today. So, will go back on Tuesday. Not life or death, I have other vehicles to drive. But I refilled the air tank there at co-op and will keep in back of car for refilling tire on Tuesday. DS was going to pick up and deliver another 1/2 beef he had processed 2 weeks ago. Then he is going to do work around the barn as catch up.... had another bearing go out on the pickup roller in the "backup baler".... There is a wheel so to speak with 6 bars that has little tines that goes around in a circle that picks up the hay and feeds it up into the chamber that rolls it into a roll. These bars full of pick up tines also revolves around and one of those bearings went out. He says that he needs to do some maintenance on some of the stuff while we have some down time for the next few days.
If I can get some more calves and their momma's in, he will come get them and work them and take them when he goes down to her house this evening since that farm they are getting moved to is right near her. All the grain was gone out of the bunk the past 2 mornings, but we were so busy in the hay fields that I never went up there to see who/what was in. Maybe today... even if I only get a pair or 2 matched, in, he can just add them to the ones he has already to move....
It is real muggy out there. I wanted to get in the garden for just a little bit, but not happening with the sun out. If we get some clouds ahead of the possible rain, I will try to get out there. I will watch the sky and bring in the clothes before it rains since they will be dry. That worked out good.
Thinking I will get in the kitchen and see about getting things a little more organized so that I will be able to start putting some squash and green beans in the freezer. There are still so many boxes of things that need to be moved; I need a good work space for me to use. Got the big vacuum sealer out and ready to use. Need to start freezing some ice in pint containers to use in the ice water bath after the blanching.... alot cheaper than going and buying bags of ice although I have when I have been rushed. Then I keep them in a freezer for use.
I think that the broccoli plants that the neighbor gave me will not do much because of the heat. I will start some seed here the middle of this month for some later fall broccoli. Also going to get some more later green beans put in this week I hope... See how the weather does. Pulling weeds in a row that the seeds didn't come up is alot easier if it has just rained some and the ground is soft.
DS brought up a couple of boxes of stuff that came from my parents that were still in the back of his truck, covered.... they had gotten wet on the trip down so were all over the back of my pickup to dry out. Some I have to wash... some dishes, odds and ends out of the kitchen... I put them inside the truck yesterday so they would not get wet again when I was at work, so they need to be brought in and gone through. A few things will probably get thrown out.....but I need to see what is what.
So, that is my day. I forgot to eat any breakfast so will go rustle up some lunch since it is 11:30 already.
Went up to do the cow a little bit ago and then came home. Been fighting this stupid nagging headache for awhile again.
Talked to Alan in NH that helped with my parents so much. He and Heather are coming south next Friday - Sat... on their way to Fl to visit his brother and pick up a saw mill in Ga, for a friend of his in NH on their way back. They are going to visit some friends in Pa then come down this way on Sat afternoon. Wanted to stop and visit us on their way. AND on the way back up. maybe stop again and then I could go back with them and then bring the truck home that is stored in their shop... If that doesn't work, then we can fall back to the original plan for me to meet up with them in Aug and go back when she picks up her kids in PA in mid Aug.... said he was not pushing, just thought that it would give me some options.
I think it would be a good thing to go back with them on their way back the middle of the month... if we can make it work here with hay and everything... and get the truck that is filled with everything... and get it down here. I have already made up my mind to get things rearranged in the carport so that it can be backed in and then I can take my time to get it unloaded and all. Plus, that will give me more incentive to have the yard sale the end of the month... to get things out of the carport and rearranged and all that.
There will still be another load of things that DS will probably bring home in the cattle trailer when he takes another load to the friend up in upper VT... some shop machines, grinder, lathe, all sorts of things. And my table and chairs that Alan took to his shop after the first trip up to start emptying the house in late April....that we didn't leave room for in the trailer then....
I would like to be able to put them in the house when I get them... so that means getting some stuff out of the house and sold in the yard sale that I am "sorting out" and not using anymore. Maybe by this winter I will have things more the way I want them? At least it doesn't hurt my knees to stand and do things in the house like it did. The kitchen is actually showing a little bit of progress....
The showers pretty much went north of us and some south... almost straight west to east. But finally about 9 or so, we got a little rain. Not looking like much more tonight. but the forecast for the next 7 days is 40% chance or more every day.
DS took some cattle down to the farm near GF's house, and a few over to another small pasture we use. I am going to see if I can get a few more in tomorrow for him, at the nurse cow pasture, to work and take down there too.
I did go out to the garden when I brought the clothes off the line before, for a little bit... There are little squashes on the plants... and some nice tomatoes coming. Also found a ripe tomato that was well pecked... so the chickens found it.... it was one that was already on the plant when I planted them.
Couple of nice sized black beauty peppers coming along... a few of the potato plants are actually starting to flower... and flowers on the green and purple beans.
DS PROMISED to look at the mower tomorrow and see if it is the spark plug... if not I will get it looked at/worked on... Grass is getting way AHEAD of me....
Cloudy and damp. Went and did the cow. Put feed in the bunk for the calves, but no one near the barn. Will go back up around noon or 1 pm. Hope to get a few more out of there.
Got a few sprinkles this morning. Hope we get some of what radar is showing between now and 2 or so. Not much showing for Monday the 4th, but then quite a bit for mid week.
Hayfields from last week really greening up. Hope we get some of this to get the ones we just finished, to start to regrow.
I'm going out to the garden in a minute. No sun, I can do some weed eating and put down some more cardboard and weed a few spots and maybe plant a few more things. Would like to get a section ready to plant the broccoli to sprout, and to put in some later green beans. Might go looking for a piece of a fence panel and put in peas for the fall.
Got to put away clean clothes and do dishes and all that sort of stuff.
With all the hay that you're working hard to grow, dry and bale, I suppose you'll be selling some of it? Perhaps a majority will be for your own herd. I'm not up to date on hay/feed prices, but I know its going crazy expensive.
Where I lived in So Or until a week or so ago, there was a hay farm up for sale this and last year. Nice home too. The farmer didn't do hay this year and its sure weird to not see bales out there in the field. Its 63 acres and he had it up for sale starting at 2.3 mil, and then dropped to 1.7 mil. Never sold. Thats alot of hay that is not going to market.
Most all the hay will be for our cattle. We do some sq bales of orchard grass for 2nd cutting for some long time customers. Usually 1-2,000 sq bales. Just depends on the year and the yield. Most fields will make 50 sq bales to the acre if the 2nd growth is decent so it doesn't take long to make 1,000 sq bales. We have a couple of people that come get it right off the wagons in the field... and there are 3 or 4 customers that we have delivered sq bales to them for over 20 years. They are all pretty close together about 1 1/2 hrs away... so we take a flat trailer of 200 or so and deliver at 2-4 places. One place the kids are grown and gone and there are only 2 retired old horses there now... Attrition changes the delivery. But another that just started a few years ago, has 3 in 4-H now and a couple more horses, so you change where and who gets how many. We are not taking on any new customers.... and with things the way they are this year with grain and other prices so high.... we will feed more hay and less concentrates. Cattle may not do quite as good, or gain as fast, but you have to make it pencil out too.
We have sold some big round bales in the past. But then we have also bought some too. The guy we custom make for, bought some more cows a year ago and now his hay does not stretch to feed all he has. He bought over 50 last year from us. The costs this year are going to make it prohibitive to buy much hay. We are figuring that in COSTS alone... NOT paying us any wages... but in fertilizer, fuel, twine, taxes and land payments or rent, depreciation and breakdown average... a 5x5 round bale is going to cost OVER $65 just to make it. There will be people selling it for less and we may buy some. But it will not be a positive economic deal for these guys that are selling the 4x5 rolls for $40.
If you have to irrigate then it is going to put the cost of hay through the stratosphere.
When you figure in all the costs, and then possible replacement costs of equipment, plus maybe the farmer's age, he probably figured that he couldn't afford to make hay anymore. Yes, that is alot of hay going to waste so to speak. But if the farm is in a good spot, it will get sold to split up for "mini estates and such" and then the price of the acreage is not so high.
For just straight ag land, it is high, but if it includes a nice house, then that is in line with what things here are bringing....If some one is willing to pay 4-700,000 for a house on 3-10 acres, then that is not that far out of the range. Except, with the housing market starting to deflate, and it is going to crash if things don't do a dramatic turn around soon... they will not be able to sell if for near what it would have been worth in 2019-20.
The rain just sorta disappeared. It broke up and mostly did not make it into the valley after coming across the mountains to the west. There is a bunch that has gone south and falling along the border with NC... but we got about a dozen sprinkles it seems.
I worked out in the garden while the clouds are out. I weeded out the row where I am going to plant the broccoli seed for the fall crop. Might get that in tomorrow so that they can get watered in, when we do get some of the called for rain this coming week.
Came in and ate some lunch and am going up to the nurse cow pasture to see if calves are in so I can shut the creep gate. Then get some cows in a little later on to match them. Hoping there are a bunch in. Going to take another 15 gallon barrel of water to the 3 that go on the nurse cow, just to make sure they have some water, since there has not been enough rain to put any in the water troughs.
Looks like the clouds are going to thin out and maybe get some sun peeking through. Oh well, good for those that have a 3 day weekend OFF of work, so they can enjoy the outdoors.