It’s in the Barn

Our hay is in the barn.  What a challenging and frustrating time we had with it.  The actual haying went very smoothly–no equipment problems and much greater volume than I expected. But Mother Nature seemed intent on stopping us.

After I had raked most of it, we got an unexpected rain and I had to do it again.  Cherie and I worked late getting it in Friday night, but being dog tired and facing the farmer’s market requiring us to be up very early the next morning, I ran out of gas before we got in the barn and quit loading it  around 9:30.  After the market on Saturday I baled a field for a neighbor and he and his son helped me get up the last of ours.  I backed the trailer into the barn and began unloading it, and was soon hit with a strong shower blowing in from the east, which is very unusual. So the rain was blowing in through the barn door and wetting the hay.  I managed to get a tarp over it and it’s (hopefully) drying out now.

The good news is that we have close to 400 bales in the barn.  The not-so-good news is that we probably have 600 bales-worth still on the ground, some raked already and all rained on twice.  

But stuff happens and this has just been a crazy wet year.   And no matter what happens, we no longer have an empty hay loft.

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6 comments on “It’s in the Barn

  1. El Guapo says:

    Congrats on a job well done!
    But ran out of gas? Isn’t that unusual?

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    • Bill says:

      Well (he begins, with hanging head in shame) we’d been working since dawn, it was late and dark, there were a hundred bales on the trailer and a hundred more on the ground in the field, and it was just and my wife to do it (her driving the truck and me loading and unloading). Plus we had to get up before daylight to get ready for the farmer’s market. Facing all that (and with a nice tall bourbon and water on my mind), I folded for the night. It turned out OK, but I was definitely sweating it the next morning and wishing we had just pressed on.

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  2. Wow, frustrations galore…sometimes the weather just seems to be malignant, doesn’t it? At least you got 400 into the barn.

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    • Bill says:

      The amount of rain we’ve had this year has just been crazy. It’s raining as I speak. Has made tilling darn near impossible. And it definitely made haymaking very difficult and increased my worry about it catching fire in the barn.

      But I think we have enough for ourselves. I would like to have sold the rest of it, but under the circumstances I’m happy with how things turned out.

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  3. shoreacres says:

    When I go to Kerrville, as I did last weekend, I always get off I-10 and take the river road from Comfort, through Center Point. This time, I got completely disoriented – I couldn’t find the hay barn where I always turn. Sure enough – it had burned down. Whether it was wet hay I can’t say, but there certainly are occasional reports of that happening around here.

    Is there a way to probe the stacked bales to check the temperature in the middle of all that? Or maybe it would be easier to check for moisture. There are instruments they use to check moisture levels in fiberglass hulls of boats that have blistered – they have to pop all the blisters and let the hull drain before they can seal it and paint. I suspect ag science has some of the same tricks that I just don’t know about.

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    • Bill says:

      There are such probes, but I don’t have one. Because of the risk I didn’t stack it all in the loft. It’s stacked in piles all around the barn and shed with alleys so I can check it and to help air circulate. I check it a couple of times a day, using my arm as the probe and move a few bales at a time into the loft. I think we’re going to be OK, but it is definitely something to worry about.

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