Thursday, May 29, 2008
Plenty of time for horse-ridin' and hay jumpin'!
We baled our first cut of hay for the season. We had no choice but to do round ones because there was more winter trash than usual--no problem for cows.
We usually do square bales for horses, but the hay has to be extra dry and weed-free if it's to be fed to them safely (Johnsongrass is esp. dangerous.) Because of this, we usually fertilize and put out 2,4-D (organic nazis shudder now.) The combination really makes for beautiful, weed-free fields.
The only problem is that tractor diesel, fertilizer and most all chemical prices are through the roof right now. If we fertilize this year, I doubt we'll see a profit. A few of our customers would probably pay about $8 a bale, but most would resort to buying cheaper hay and take the risk of having weeds.
A lot of horse owners around here are complaining, and if they aren't complaining they are selling-- especially the ones who have multiple horses but don't own much pasture.
It will be interesting to see how the field does on its own this year. We've had a heckuva lot of rain, so maybe the Bahia will grow well and choke out some of the weeds. If not, I see more round bales in our future.