Haylage, 1st cutting complete!!!

What a spring!  I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive this year.  Anyone with Alfalfa in a  mid-western climate knows what I mean.  As the adage goes ‘the best way to make it rain, is go cut hay’.  And to add to the challenge for the first time in over 10 years, we switched custom chopping companies. Two thousand acres of alfalfa hay to shop, unusually wet conditions and a new group to work with, definitely a challenge to contend with.

If you don’t understand farming, the hay harvest is significantly different that your traditional harvest, you can’t just go out in the field and pull it out of the field in one quick operation, it really is a 3 tiered operations.  Mowing, merging and then chopping the crop.  The challenge becomes getting the hay dry enough to chop, hay is like your lawn it will keep growing and growing, and the only way to get it to dry out it to mow it.  Then depending on weather conditions it can take 12-36 hours to get it dry enough to chop it and haul it out of the field.

Mother nature likes to play tricks on us, so we watch the weather very closely for a 2-3 day window to get the three steps done.  A couple of years ago an unexpected storm popped up and this was the result.

Its pretty hard to get equipment out into a field that has floating hay.  It happens, but we work hard to avoid it.

Well this year, mother kept us on our toes, but we are  finished with first cutting!!!   Here are some photos of our last day of 1st cutting Hay harvest.


The photo above shows two tractors merging the already cut and dried alfalfa into one big pile for the chopper to harvest.

This photo shows us chopping the alfalfa into trucks to be hauled to the dairy and stored.

Thanks a lot to 7 Farms Custom Ag, the trucking companies involved, and Bridgewater Farming staff for making this a successful first cutting, everyone pitched in, worked hard to get the job done.

Oh yeah, because hay is like grass every 28 days the fun starts all over.   Due to challenging weather conditions it took us 3 weeks to get a 1 week job done.   We might be starting this harvest all over again next week.