There are times in life when not just one thing goes wrong but everything seems to go wrong. Hay season 2021 was the perfect storm of if it could go wrong it was going to. Hay season can be tricky with the timing as you want to cut hay when the grass is at its peak. This provides the best nutrition for animals to survive through the winter. You don’t want to hay too early in the season when the grass is mostly water and you don’t want to hay too late when the grass has gone to seed as then it is mostly stems.
Our storm of events started with our tractor breaking down back in April and having to go to the mechanics (Sadly, it’s still not fixed…). We were able to lean on our neighbors as they bought a tractor and we had the hay equipment. When the neighbors new tractor showed up, so did the rain, pushing back our already behind hay season. Finally, a break in the weather and we were off to getting the hay cut! Or so we thought, until the sickle bar which cuts the hay breaks… Once we were back in business it was raked and ready to bale. Until the baler broke requiring a couple days of waiting for a part to come in.
After a week of fighting to get the hay cut, raked and baled, rain was in the forecast again! Shawn worked hard to get the baler back up and running. Between the neighbors, Shawn, zen, me and some very cooperative little girls; we were all able to bust our butts and throw hay bales till the wee hours of the night not eating dinner till midnight trying to beat the rain forecasted for early in the morning. When hay gets wet it molds making it inedible. Round two of haying happened a couple weeks later as we do not do all our pastures at once. Other than being extremely hot, our second round with equipment went much smoother.
In the end, we are so thankful to have neighbors we can lean on when things aren’t going well and a mother who jumps in driving the truck so we have more hands throwing and stacking bales on the trailer. When baling later in the year it is HOT HOT HOT so glad we all survived the heat! Despite all the breakdowns, heat and rain, we were able to put up another 300 bales of hay. We chose to celebrate the end of hay season with some yummy Mexican food. Cheers to a bumpy yet successful year haying!