Thursday, May 29, 2008

School's Out for Summer

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.

1 comment:

CabinWriter-- said...

We live in our own little worlds and assume only utilities, gasoline, and food increases are the only thing folks worry about. How disappointing to have to sell horses or livestock because the U. S. is in such a gridlock! How wonderful for your kids to live in the open spaces and enjoy riding. Mine in their 40's are still remembering going to the sand pits near our country home. The only horses they had was a saw horse!