2016 Season

May 18 – Hayfield looks very good.

May 22 – Other farmers have made first cutting. Still waiting on ours due to rainy weather this week.

Jun 6 – First cutting.

Jun 8 – Storms hit overnight dumping at least 3 inches.

Jun 10 – Hay raked. Storms hit again in the afternoon dumping 2 more inches. Total disaster for hay crop. Quite frustrating. Looking into buying our own equipment.

Jun 14 – Rained on 3rd time.

Jun 16 – Hay raked again. Then chopped and hauled away a few hours later.

Jul 7 – Field coming in nicely now after heat and a few rains. Need to investigate proper management/amendments.

Jul 20 or 21st – Hay baled and stored in barn. (Woo hoo!!!) 8 large square bales. 16 large squares total.

Aug ?? – Third cutting. 11 bales. Kept 3 and sold 2.5.

Season total: 15(est) + 16 + 11 =  42 large sq bales / 4 ac = ~10 bales/ac

2015 Season

May – best looking crop of alfalfa ever! Unfortunately had to destroy 1/2 acre to excavate barn site.

Jun 6 – Expected haying by now, still waiting.

First cutting came a bit late, but was ruined by continuous rain. Couldn’t quite get dry.

Late July – Second cutting. Was baled and sold to farmer, at a good price. Made 13 bales this cutting compared to last year’s 4 bales.

Oct 5 – Third cutting.

Oct 12 – Raked and baled. Made 15 bales. Worth $50/bale, so $375 for half (farmer kept other half). Nice to make some return this year.

Season total: 28 bales, $700

2014 Season

Apr 2 – bought seeds, 2 50# bags of Horse Pasture Mix

Apr 23 – Expected to plant today but started raining too early, had to put off.

Apr 26 – Field tilled and tried to plant. Comedy of errors: seed drill shaft broke, replacement drill ran over metal spike in field (popped tire), after that was fixed it was discovered the drill size was accidentally set too high — all the seed had been planted in the first two passes. Need to buy more seed, but shop was closed. Started raining.

Apr 27-May 2 – Torrential downpours for the next 6 days preventing us from getting into field. Possibly a blessing in disguise that we didn’t get the field planted only to have it washed out.

Apr 28 – Picked up another 2 bags of pasture mix seed. Soil sample came back. Need to add 3 tons of lime. Contact Anderson Trucking Rock-Lime in Nerstrand. Too late this season (because the grass needs to get in). Will have to wait until until next tilling.

May 4 – Field is planted (finally!)

May 22 – Grass sprouting where planted. Alfalfa from last year coming in strong. About 6-10 inches.

Jun 9 – First cutting.

Jun 12 – Raked.

Jun 14 – Alfalfa was not dry enough yet to bale, got rained on.

Jun 16 – Raked again.

Jun 22 – Tom stopped by to tell us the first cutting was a total loss. It had rotted in place.

Jun 23-24 – Picked rocks out of field

Jun 25 – Cut hay chopped and removed from field.

Jul 16 – Alfalfa has grown back, now flowering again. Pasture is knee-thigh high, probably ready for another cutting.

Jul 25 – Hay cut.

Jul 28/29 – Hay bailed and removed.

Aug 10 – Farmer struck a deal to cover first and second cutting. OUR FIRST NON-LOSS! Breakeven, here we come!!

Oct 18 – Last field cutting (about two weeks late). Waiting for it to dry. Sellers lined up, if good.

Nov 3 – Hay baled and hauled off to farmer’s barn. Rain delayed earlier cuttings and it was stressful waiting for the dry days and depending on someone else to finish the job.

Nov 6 – Sold first crop (!) 2 large bales, about 30 bales equivalent at $5/bale.

Season total: 4 bales, $150