Farmerjan's journal - Weather

SageHill

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I was thinking of your hay this morning. There was a post on a local page on FB.
3 x 4 x 6 local grass hay. From last year. $50 a bale. They had 90 bales. They were sold within an hour.
Oh gawd, please don't let my alfalfa be that much. My last load was I think $20 ro $22 a bale (120-130#). Filled a stall with 50 bales. I'm about half way through that.
 

farmerjan

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I was thinking of your hay this morning. There was a post on a local page on FB.
3 x 4 x 6 local grass hay. From last year. $50 a bale. They had 90 bales. They were sold within an hour.
CHEAP... That didn't pay the cost of making it... let alone the value of the fertilizer etc... When hay gets scarce, that is like gold... and hay will keep real good in a barn, without light on it to bleach it out with little nutrient loss the first year... Those bales will weigh in the neighborhood of 800-1000 lbs... Gotta have a tractor to load and unload...they are packed tighter than most round bales....
Maybe it was someone that makes hay just to sell...
But being gone within an hour tells you something.

We are getting alot of hay made, fast, due to the perfect drying conditions, and DS being off work to be able to mow more at a time, knowing that he will also be off and able to get more of it baled at a time.... and not work half the night.

You can't say enough about the near perfect drying conditions we have had, though. No humidity is like heaven to get it to dry faster... and not having to make all the trips across the field by not having to tedd all this out either.
What he mowed Sunday, is what I raked today. Totally dry.... the fields are a little light... he did not put down any fertilizer on these 2 fields either due to not knowing if we were going to have them this year... they are in one of the 2 subdivisions we make some hay in... as the lots get sold, you never know... some of these are 4-10 acre "estates".... and people find out fast that they love living in the "country"... as long as someone else is doing the mowing and the grunge work... or for many, this is their 2nd home... or future retirement home... so only up on weekends and stuff like that... They have no interest in having to spend half their weekend mowing and getting exhausted from that...

He mowed the 10 acre orchard grass field, and the other 3 fields that probably total another 15 acres or so.. That should be ready for raking Thursday I would think with this kind of weather. These had been fertilized so they are thicker/heavier stands... If I rake Thursday, and they stand to dry a little more, they will all be ready to bale by Friday... Might even see about doing some raking tomorrow eve... see how they look and how they are drying. But overall, the hay is lighter and shorter due to it being so dry this spring. We had hit the "abnormally dry stage" on the drought monitor early on... and it can't put out the growth if there is not alot of moisture... Maybe we will get more rain after first cutting is done...
Right now there is only a chance of some spotty showers in the next 7 days..... if they are "spotty" like yesterday's 1 minute rain... it will not do alot... There was dust coming off the hay as he was mowing it today... Ground is dry on top and this wind that is great for drying the hay, is drying out the ground too...

Had a scare... the male cat was missing yesterday, and all night and this morning... I am thinking that what got the chicken was maybe coyotes... and they got the cat. The female walked around looking for him last night and this morning. Well, he just showed up when I got done with the hay and giving DS a ride back from where he mowed, to get the truck..... I came home to make a sandwich and there he was... so he might have been out tom catting although it is the wrong time of year for them to come in heat.... although I am sure some do... and there was the feral cat here the other day... that I see occasionally....
Guess I need to get him fixed now.....

Set up meters at the farm this morning, then had to go get DS so he could get the other tractor... the one he just got back all of a sudden wouldn't go... said the clutch and all that was not working... He had only gotten it back.... AGAIN.... the other day.... so he needed to get the JD that they had put a new part in that I had picked up for him a week ago on that Sat...... something about the differential or something that I had to get the parts at JD and then that seal that our local Auto parts store girl cross referenced and they got it put back together... anyway... took him up to get the JD and then I got a can of fuel and had to get my "squeezy thing" (for transferring liquid like kerosene from a can into a heater)... I can not lift the cans up and pour into the fuel tank on the tractors. I lift the cans up, stick the squeezy thing in and then it sits on the hood and the fuel runs down into the tank... Been doing it for years...
So I got another can of fuel in the tractor... this Ford 4600 is very very fuel efficient.... and proceded to rake the hay in the 2 lots there in the subdivision... different one than I was in yesterday....
Got done and called to see if DS needed a ride or anything... I had to leave for work by 4:10 to go to the farm 10 minutes away or so... and it was just 3 so I was doing okay for time. He did want a ride, so I took him to get the truck at the hay field we were at where he got the 1 minute shower, because he brought the tractor and baler back .... and then he was going to get the trailer and with help from a friend, they were going to have to pull the tractor back up on the trailer so he could take it up there for them to figure out why it was doing that.

I went to work, and came home... Managed to walk out to look at the garden for a few minutes before dark... Needless to say I did not try to get the cows and calves in at the pasture since he had to take the tractor back instead of moving the cows....
There are quite a few squash seeds that have come up... both the butternut and some summer squash... I am going to have to get the soaker hoses out there for the plants though. The ground/dirt is getting hard.
So, it is time for a shower and bed since I have to get up by 4:30 to get moving to be back at the farm at 5:30.... Bottles are already in the trays in the car..... I did not sample this evening as I did not have the bottles ready... that is for the morning this month.

Ate some sweet cherries and some cheese for "supper", wasn't wanting anything too heavy but needed something to eat.

Tomorrow morning will be here all too soon....
 

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Just a catchup post, as I am leaving to go test the 250+ cow herd that we have been putting off for 2 weeks... talked to them yesterday, he was meaning to call me Sat... life gets in the way and everyone forgets. Decided that today was as good as any... get it done as we have alot of hay down, DS cut more this morning... and it is getting hotter and hotter the next week with less than 20 % stray chance of pop up showers that sometimes come from the heating of the day stuff. No actual "rain" in sight for another week or so... and temps in the 90's so will be quite hot for us. We were in the 70's and nice breeze for the past week or so. Rather be in the barn before it gets sweltering...

I raked hay again yesterday as DS was cutting 2 more fields. He had mowed this on Tuesday and it was already dry as dry can be for me to rake on Wed. Yields are down, granted we are early making it too... but it is heading and won't put up much green with no rain. The dry spring is really showing in the hay. The weather is perfect for making it with the sun, breeze and no humidity... plus with the dry ground there is little moisture in the grasses when we cut either. DS has had dust coming off the grass as he is cutting it.

He went and cut another place this morning... and moved the tractor to yet another 9 acre field where we had all the bear trouble last year making a mess of the bales... he will cut that and probably part of the one pasture where we rotate the cows into... he got a good cutting off there last year and fertilized it this spring... but we may need to keep that for the cows if we don't soon get rain, to get the pastures growing again.

Then there are 2 places left... the one we make custom for the guy we work his cattle for and make his hay, and a smaller place near there we cut also' they are near the farm and then hopefully if we start getting some rain, some of the orchard grass will be getting close to a 2nd cutting. We'll see.

Had a scare, my male cat was gone for about 36 hours... thought maybe we had a coyote that got the chicken a couple weeks ago, then got him. But he was back the next afternoon... there is a feral cat that comes around and maybe he followed it... but he is back and is fine. Will have to see about setting up to get him fixed I guess if he is going to roam... but right now hay is paramount importance.

In order to prove how happy he was to be back... yesterday aft I came in the house, and there he is in the bathroom... with a 8 inch m/l long Garter snake... playing with it on the linoleum floor in the bathroom... REALLY.... for some reason the cats often take their "treasures" in there to kill and eat... So I scooped the poo little snake up and took it outside and turned it loose under some bushes and gave the cats some cat food to keep them occupied in the house for a little bit...
Garter snakes eat alot of insects and stuff, and are harmless and I like them around... BUT... prefer them to not be in the house... I mean if it had wound up under something or between boxes ....UGH...

Watered the tomatoes and peppers and the green beans and corn and newly sprouted squash seeds last night until dark.... Watered all the potted plants out front and will do all the spider plants and stuff toinight and move them all under the maple tree tonight. I watered them the other day but they will need it tonight.

Meters loaded, bottles in the trays, ready to head out. I will get home around 8-9. Might get in the garden again in a day or 2... not making the progress I want.....

DS just called, a well pump is bad at one of the pastures... got to go to Roanoke tomorrow morning to get it... I managed to get a massage therapist appt set up to coincide so to make the trip worth it... Guess I will rake late tomorrow afternoon. It will be noon before I get back and I am not getting on the tractor in the blazing hot sun at 1 p.m. Oh well, it will be there when I get there... or DS might do some if he is caught up with mowing...

Gotta go test.
 

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Went to Roanoke... massage therapy really helped with the shoulder ... it didn't feel alot better at first but has been much more flexible this afternoon.
Went to the supply co and got DS on the phone with the guy there, he asked me a few questions I did not know... so let them figure out what he wanted... don't fall over but it was nearly $1,000.00 for the pump and check valve.... I knew that was the ball park figure when I went so that was not a shock..but still... HOLY COW!

Got back about 12:30... DS was finishing mowing the 9 acre field we had moved the tractor and mower to yesterday morning... he had gone and gotten the cow I got in at the nurse cow pasture last night... and brought her to the barn this morning so she wouldn't get out .... in case.... and so he was going to town and we wound up taking 3 cows and 5 calves.... brought one steer home because they had dropped the price way down on him, and DS said it was not enough... and it wasn't... especially when some others that were not as good were bringing .50/ lb more that we watched go through. Prices were all over the place today... some 450-500 wt steers brought in the 3.20's... some bulls of the same size ran from $2.00 to 3.00 /lb...
There was one heifer that we never could find her momma at the pasture, that weighed right at 300... she was probably stealing off another cow and then when put in the barn with a bunch, was eating feed good so she looked good... not pot bellied or anything. She brought like 2.50 or 2.75.... one steer with spots in both eyes from some real bad bout with pinkeye brought nearly 2.00 and was as good as he was ever going to get... weighed like 400 .... one heifer that was a red white face x that was a little skittish, weighed about 400 and she brought like 2.50 also... and one other steer that they put in the comingled "graded pen"... that brought around 3.10 and weighed in the 430 range. The one we brought home weighed 485 and was a nice calf. We have calves to wean off cows in about 2 weeks so it is very likely he will match something from that group... so not all that upset by it. But I would have been upset for him to bring 4-600 LESS that he should have...
We did not stay for the cull cows... the one was the fence jumping witch of mine that had a real attitude... and open... the other 2 were old cows and both were a bit lame... I think both had stifled hind legs... but they were in good flesh, and looked as good as they were going to. With what cull cow prices are bringing, they will be worth over 1,000 each (weighed right at 980 or so each)... That is alot better than the 3-400 we used to get for cull cows.
I will go by and get the check on Monday....

So we came on home from the sale... and I told DS I really didn't want to mess up the relaxing of the shoulder and all today... he has all the hay raked and baled but one field at the one place... and said he could do that in the morning... it is the field way up on the top of the hill... then need to take the rake to the next place where he mowed several acres where we pasture it after cutting it... then take to the place he just mowed this morning. So, the plan is for him to probably rake that top field in the morning... except we got a pop up short shower this evening here at the house. I got wet enough that I came in out of the garden... don't know if we got it at that hay field.... but it is about 3-4 miles from me by the crow flies....

I will go rake that field that we will pasture at the other place, after he gets the top field done in the morning, unless it is wet from this shower and needs to dry.... and he can come bale it as soon as he is done up there... I ought to have it all raked for him... It is very dry. Then we can take the tractors to the 9 acres he mowed this morning for raking and baling... he said it was a little "greener" so probably won't be ready to do tomorrow.

Don't think the shower was enough to really "do anything" except get the road and the ground wet on top. Forecast is for nothing other than an odd pop up shower ... for the next 7-10 days..... with temps in the 90's everyday starting Monday... nothing's going to grow with no moisture.

Speaking of which... checked the drought monitor...on the internet.... new one comes out every Thursday... we are in the "extremely dry" condition... not good with this heat coming on around here. Sure hope our corn is not sprouting yet or it will die if not watered..... and we do not have a way to irrigate.... Hay is not coming back much anywhere either... we need a good 2 inch soaking..... we are concerned about pastures drying up and not having enough hay to feed if we do not get some rain to get the fields regrowing...kinda glad some more of the cows are gone...

Aside from whatever we do with the hay tomorrow, I hope to get the mower out and get things here caught up. Need to get back at the potatoes... I see a few tiny little sprouts coming up in a couple of places in the potato rows.. green beans are coming up better... several squash plants have come through. I am planning to get the soaker hoses on the rows here this weekend too and get them started better. The plants I watered the other night look alot better just from that bit.
Time to quit for the night.
 

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Well, another day in the "nothing goes as planned days".... Get a call at 7:30... DS was at the field to rake, it was a little wet from the shower but the sun was out and he said it would dry fast... BUT.... could I go down to the farm near gf house... the cows were all out... she was on her way there but he was afraid that they might act stupid and not follow her in... so I got dressed quick, and flew trying to get there inc ase... and she had just gotten them all in... she said they followed her down the road, some were across the road in a hay field,... but they are used to her truck and she feeds them bread sometimes and they have learned to come to her for a treat... and since it is close down there, I don't ever do anything with them... although most of them have been at other pastures where DS or I have worked with them... they just know that if they are called, they should come.... there is a board fence there, that someone built for horses... 3 boards... PINE boards no less.. and they just break. There is too much space between the boards for the cows... they reach through for grass and all that weight just pushing a little and the boards break and then they walk out through the gap... mostly they break the middle board so there is a BIG space between the top and bottom...
This is an ongoing problem.... another of those things that never seems to get fixed/done...

But anyway, their grass is getting short because there are 25 cows and 21, 6+ month old calves that are supposed to get weaned off in 2 weeks... well, "she said" they are going to get weaned and moved out of there tomorrow... so the calves will all get brought to the farm and probably a couple of the cows to help "nurse maid" the calves for a week or 2 of teaching them to come in the barn to the bunk for feed, then the cows will get put up in the field there to calve in Sept... and he will go get the rest of the cows in the next month or so to bring them all back. He doesn't want to leave them down there at that pasture, there are way too many thick brushy areas that he would never find them if they are having trouble calving or be able to find and catch calves to tag them when born.
By taking 21 half grown calves off the cows... they weigh in the 400-500 lb range, it will take alot of pressure off the grass and if we get a little rain in a week or so, hopefully it will be enough to keep the cows for another month or 2... get the grass to grow a bit again, for them...

So I came back and just went to the field... DS had raked the top field and was going to bale it... then had to go move a camper trailer for a friend of his this morning. So, I took the rake to the next field he had cut, where we will rotate the cows in for grazing later on, and raked it. Surprisingly, it was greener than DS said it would be.. it was NOT as dry as he said. Turned up a bunch of "green" but this would get it flipped up and air underneath for it to dry better today. Then left there and went to the next place down the road that he had mowed Friday morning... surprisingly the better part of that field was "lighter" than where I had come from and a good amount of it was fairly dry. I texted him and asked if someone was going to come and get me (vehicle was at the place were the rake and tractor were, several miles away) when I was on my way to the last field... he said yes... so when I got there, I decided to rake some in the middle of the field where it was looking pretty dry... well, I raked all but the outside 6 rows he had mowed... and they were all much greener/heavier hay and were along all the sides where there are trees so were not near as dry anyway. I never planned on doing that much raking... but he will mow part of the 3rd pasture there also, I guess tomorrow... I don't know if I will even go over there to rake tomorrow for what little bit there is so do around the outside of the one field... might wait until the other field needs raking. We'll see what gets done.
He wasn't going to do anything else this afternoon... it was after 1 when he came and got me... he unhooked the discbine because the old big Allis Chalmers has a radiator leak that he was going to get fixed before he had to take the other tractor back AGAIN... so has been putting water in it and used some radiator stop leak so he could bale with it... but he says it is leaking alot and he does not want to use it on that steep hill I raked today.
So,he came to the field where I was with my car, unhooked the tractor from the discbine and then took that tractor back up the road to the field I had raked, and then took him back to the field he had finished baling and we hooked the baler to the truck there, so he could take it back to where we had just left the tractor so he could bale. I told him it was not dry enough to bale this afternoon, he wanted to get it done... but I said he could bale maybe the bottom 6-8 windrows on the lower part of the field as they were driest... but then gf was moving bales off the one field, and she was having trouble with the bale bed on the truck, so she took 2 bales and went up the hill to the barn and he went to drop off the baler and then went to the barn I guess. I was no longer needed...They were going to a truck/tractor pull and were leaving around 3 I was told earlier...

I guess they are going to get the cows in tomorrow.... nothing has been said about me helping...

So, I came home and finally got something to eat at around 1:30-2 pm....

I hadn't bounced around on the tractor enough that I got the mower out and did a good part of the lawn. I did not get in the garden, which I should have, but decided to get the mowing somewhat caught up. Have to finish tomorrow, out around the garden, then maybe get in the garden in the afternoon... I did do some weeding down the rows close to the plants last night. Once I get all the mowing done, then I will get the soaker hoses out there, and get the hoses all pulled out to the garden, and then I can get the electric netting up too.
If there is nothing wrong with the bale truck, then I will go get the roll of hay at Deb's from last year since he can't seem to remember to do anything I ask. I have some cardboard to put down, but don't want to use rocks everywhere... would rather put some old hay on them to keep them in place and then don't have to pick up rocks again.

I have a chiropractor appt on Monday aft... any raking I do will be done in the morning anyway... and then I have to get with some farms about testing. I am behind on it but everyone has been in the hay fields an getting 2nd crop soybeans planted after getting wheat and such off... If they were desperate they would call me.

Back and shoulder are sore but the field I raked you practically have to hold on to keep yourself in the tractor seat since it is quite a hill, so not like I was just sitting in a normal upright position....

That was my day... Put a load of clothes in the washer, will hang them tomorrow, and do another load.... Been fantastic drying weather for clothes too... maybe get some blankets done and out in the hot sun too..

Got a couple of the planters out so I can put in some plants I got and haven't done anything but water them... past time to do them too. The asparagus has done good in the big tubs, got about 10-12 of the purple ones so not too bad... the Dahlias are getting bigger and I see some flower buds forming.

I'm tired.. time for bed.
 

farmerjan

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Up and out early. Got the load of laundry done and hung, white socks/clothes in soaking and will run through later.
Small problem, shelf in the freezer "collapsed" as it had a bunch of chickens and heavy stuff on it. Had to put the stuff in the freezer chest. Going to have to take the rest out/off that shelf and probably the one above it and see if there is something I can use to make it "stiffer" across so it doesn't come out of the side slide in spots.. it is sagging in the middle with the weight and just slid off the support on the side. Unless they are more permanent/un moveable racks, they don't take what I put on them well.... maybe a wood 1x4 or something so it doesn't sag in the middle.. or a flat steel bar of some sort...

Going out to take the clean buckets I had washed, off the ranger p.u., get a pitchfork, and go to rake the last couple of rounds that were too green yesterday when DS finally came to get me... and see about picking up some of the clumps of hay from where the bear mauled the bales last year... bring some of it home and at least get started on mulching the stuff in the garden that is up... put down the cardboard and then can put some mulch over it to hold it down, and conserve the moisture. I will do the rest of the mowing later on, get the weed eater out and do some of that... and see what other multitude of things need doing when I get back from the hay.
It was a comfortable 60 last night, sun was out early and then a bunch of high clouds have moved in and calling for partly cloudy today and into tomorrow...74 already at 9 a.m. with a 20% chance of stray showers.

I don't know when he is thinking about baling, or getting the cows in, or anything else like that... Haven't heard, so going to do my thing. Have got to soak all the plants as they are all needing it with this dry air...and get the soaker hoses and all pulled out for the garden after I finish the mowing out there...
 
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farmerjan

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Back, and in for a sandwich for lunch. Went to the field and loaded a pile of old hay from the bear's mess, on the ranger. I was going to go to another pile but my shoulder said... "that's enough for now"... it did not like it but I tried to do it so that side did not have to lift too high. It went fairly fast. I will go back and get another pile as soon as I get this off the truck later I hope.
Raked the outside rounds at the field and then texted DS to let him know that they were done and there was some green in them as I expected. He will roll that on the outside of the rolls... as the baler gets full, it shows him and he can skip over to that part of the row on the outside to roll on the last little bit, and then it will automatically tie the hay roll and he kicks it out. That way, it won't get rolled in the inside and get moldy or cause the bale to heat.
He texted me back, (service is very IFFY over in this area and you are lucky if you even get texts some places) and said he was baling at the other field I raked yesterday, on the steep hillside, then was heading to allen's where I finished raking this morning; and that they did not get the cows in at the pasture... message did not sound like it was a good morning... I just texted back and said okay... I will see about getting the rest of the mowing done here, and take the weed eater out and do some of it.
The sun comes and goes and it is not near as hot as they had originally forecast... I am going to run the rest of the clothes that are soaking, through and get them hung out I think.
Then get this first bunch of mulch hay off the truck and on cardboard in the garden. Then I can lay down some soaker hoses along the plants.
Plus get some of these other plants in the planter boxes and big pots, and then give everything a good soaking.

Let's see what I can go get done.
 

farmerjan

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Back in for a cold drink. The sun came and went... and it is a little more muggy than it was.
I got all the feed bags and cardboard I had down, and all covered with the hay off the truck. Shoulder is not happy... but I told it to just suck it up buttercup.... but that is an accomplishment anyway.

Finished the mowing except around the perimeter of the garden. I ran the weed eater until 2 batteries were dead. Got the tall grass all cut down that is growing up through the netting so I can get it up... I had it folded and laid out by the garden and didn't get it moved like I should have before the grass got to growing. But I did this with the cattle panels and the next day they lifted out of the tall grass pretty good so hope the netting will too. Brought the charged batteries to the house and put the "dead ones" on their chargers for the weed eater.....

Got the clothes finished washing, and hung on the line. Put one more load in, it is a partial load but is several of the short sleeved shirts I wear outside since I cannot handle a T-shirt when it gets hot. Want a loose cotton snap or button down shirt, for "air" . I will wait and put in today's sweaty shirt and then run it, or not if the possible rain is coming.

40% chance of some scattered showers and storms tomorrow after 2... DS cut that last section of the pasture, there where I was today... then brought the tractor and mower all the way back to the place we do custom for the guy... which is like a mile or so from the farm. That and the little field at one of the businesses right here close will be it for 1st cutting... I am LOVING having it all done so fast.... then all we need to do is get a good soaking rain to get everything watered; grass regrowing and the corn getting a good start and the garden to get a good watering.
I am thinking I am going to go back and see if I can deal with another load of the crap hay from the bear tearing the bales up... then maybe I can at least get it off the truck into the edge of the garden tomorrow...not try to unload it tonight.
Have not done any of the flowers.... but I am getting there.
Also did a very full sink full of dishes I have been ignoring.... now to do several of the gallon glass jars... and a couple other things.
And got the stuff off the shelf and in the BIG cooler chest, and it is full... and the shelf out so I can maybe take the shelf to Lowe's or somewhere and see about getting something that I can use under it so it won't sag in the middle enough for it to come off the brackets on the inside of the freezer. It is a very small piece that sticks out of the side of the freezer, for the shelf to sit on... Of course, no one stuffs a freezer like I do either... But that is something to look at if I ever get another new one...

So, I think I am going to go get another truck load of "mulch hay" this evening... and then I can get another load on Tuesday when I go back to rake. DS just answered me and said he thinks what he mowed today will not be ready tomorrow... so that is really good in a way...and if we get some pop up storm, it won't have to be tedded out like if I get it raked and then it gets wet; I can get a load off the truck tomorrow, and then not have to think about loading another load until Tuesday.... It was easier to load it today than it was to unload it here... pulling it off was harder since it was "higher up", being on the truck, than on the ground when I forked it on at the field. Plus, if we do get some showers or whatever, it will be good to have the mulch on whatever I can manage.... it will get the ground wet and I will be able to cover it up with the hay and hold any moisture in there...

Break's over....
 
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