The Drought and the Hay Crop

The guys here at the farm just finished up harvesting third crop of alfalfa hay.  Typically four crops are harvested here.  We do a combination of big bales and haylage (chopped hay that is put in a silo or bunker).

First crop was harvested early as we had such beautiful spring weather.   There are 52 acres in the field.   The crop yielded 394 of these HUGE bales.

Second crop came along, and it was chopped.  Harvest was MUCH less than they typically get but not horrible.

Third crop was harvested this week.  48 bales was the entire harvest…that figures to be 8% of the first harvest….sad.

Throughout the last 2 weeks, we have gotten storms to the north and south of us but for us…little to no rain.  On Memorial day we had 2″, mid June we had 3/4″…earlier in July we had 3/10  and in the last go around we had 2/10 so far of July every single day has been above normal temperatures.

It’s amazing how much I have taken for granted in the previous years….

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6 thoughts on “The Drought and the Hay Crop

  1. Suzann

    I have a friend that is concerned about botulism with the bread in a jar. Have you contacted anyone about this? How long have you kept the bread in the jar without eating it? I just made pumpkin and am wondering if I should freeze it. I was wanting to give these as stocking stuffers for my grown kids at Christmas. (Getting a head start on Christmas. lol)

  2. Annie M

    Jo – Thanks for putting a face on the effects of the drought for those of us not involved in farming. It is such a fragile balance that ultimately affects us all, but is magnified for our farmers and others close to the source. I’m not sure I would display the same gracious acceptance you have, but then farmers have this drama played out every year and to survive you have to have this resilience. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Take care. Annie

  3. Ranch Wife

    I hear your pain. We don’t farm…just ranch, but the drought is hitting us hard as well. This is the second year. Last year we only received 2″ in 12 months and 10″ of snow at Christmas. At least hay prices are through the roof. Good for y’all. Not so much for us, but then you don’t have as much to sell either. Sigh. Praying for rain.

  4. Ruth

    So glad you got that first crop of alfalfa so quickly! Sorry to hear about the drought. Hope that the “latter rain” comes soon and the crops all get well watered.
    I really enjoy reading about all the quilting on your blog.

  5. Sandy D

    I live in an area in Canada that is suffering a drought also .Our 1st cut hay crop is half of what it should be and there is no second or third cut at all. Farmers are starting to sell there cattle because the cost of buying hay is doubling from 30 dollars for a large round bale to 65 so far and they think it will go even higher. The corn crops are burning up. It is very sad.

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