Rolling in the Hay

It’s haying time on the Montana Hi-Line.  And that means lots of hours cutting the hay and lots of early mornings & late nights bailing it up. (We put ours up in big round bales– but you’ll see big squares, & even a few small squares around still sometimes)

For the hay to be the best quality, the moisture content has to be just right– & that’s where the crazy hours come in.  The heat of the day dries the hay out too much.  There’s a narrow window mid-morning, after the dew burns off before the sun gets too hot and again, usually just after dark before the dew makes it too wet to bale.  And apparently here, where we’re so close to the Canadian border, the big lights on the tractors flashing around in fields in the middle of the night create a little curosity among the new Border Patrol agents.  Farmer Farver will tell you though, that cresting a hill in a field in the absolute middle of seriously No-Where in the pitch black dark and unexpectedly finding a Border Patrol pickup with flood lights sweeping across your windshield, creates a near freaking heart attack for even the coolest of cats.

Right now, we’re working on the alfalfa mix that’s been irrigated under the pivot.  It has good nutrition for the cows & makes a lot of bales since it gets regularly sprinkled.  I love the way the windrows look when they’re laid out, evenly spaced & drying in the sun.  And the smell– especially alfalfa or clover– is one of the sweetest summer smells you’ll find! hay 2

Next we’ll move on & cut some of the grass coulees & ditches.  And then the finale– a mix of barley, field peas, & lentils.  The cows go crazy for this stuff in the dead of winter.  It’s an awesome source of protein for them, & it must taste great too.  It’s like crack for cows.

It all gets stacked in several different stack yards to be used once the fall grazing season is over & throughout the winter.  This year we’re blessed to have an incredible hay crop– plenty to keep the girls’ tummies full until spring.

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