Much of the nation has been experiencing drought conditions the last couple of years. In fact, two years ago, because things were so dry, hay production was very low. Due to the shortage of hay, it became a very “hot” commodity. We had to buy a lot of hay during the winter, and it was very expensive! (Supply and demand—capitalism at work!) The large, round bales of hay that historically cost $25-$35 a bale, were selling for $55-$65. We even heard of someone paying (well, charging) $90 a bale!
Last year was a little bit better, or we were a lot more prepared. We had enough hay to feed the cattle through the winter, and we still have a few bales leftover to feed cattle that are put in the lot for various reasons.
We are not out of the drought conditions, yet. In fact, our farm sits in an area that the old-timers used to call Dry Branch–possibly because the rains seem to keep going around us. At times, we see a storm moving in, and then it begins to clear up and looks like a completely different weather pattern.
During the last couple of months, we have been praying for rain…the situation was getting serious. The fields were thin, the grasses were not growing, and we were wondering what we would do for hay for the coming winter. But thankfully, this month we have been blessed and over-blessed with rains, here on the farm. Now The Farmer has another problem…the rain is keeping him from cutting the hay!
He only needs three straight days of good sunshine to cut a field, rake it, and bale it. Unfortunately, the weatherman keeps predicting “chances” for afternoon, morning, or evening showers. His latest prediction looked like this:
So understandably, The Farmer is a little hesitant about laying any grass on the ground. But like all ventures here on the farm, he’s going to eventually just take a chance and hope for the best.