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Making Hay

Posted by Carissa Team Tink Staffer     0 Comment(s)    Add a Comment  comment-icon.png
05/12/2017 07:45 AM

Greeting from Tink World! 

Well, it's hay season around these parts. Almost every hay field you pass either has hay on the ground or bales in the field, including ours. The saying, "You gotta make hay while the sun shines" is true. 

See, you need at least six days with no rain to bale great hay. Day one is cutting the hay. Then, you need a lot of sun and warm temperatures to cure the hay. This process takes a couple of days. Fluffing the hay helps to speed up the process. It's really important for the hay to stay dry after it's cut. Rain hurts the quality of the final product and when you're depending on this hay to keep your cows full through winter, the quality needs to be good. If it's warm and sunny during the day, the curing process can take two to three days depending on dew and the thickness of the grass. Cloudy, cool days aren't ideal for curing hay. 

So, after the grass is fluffed and dried, it's time to rake and bale. The hay needs to be raked into rows so the baler can properly pick up the grass. After the hay is baled, it needs another couple of days to dry in the field as a roll. If you store the hay too soon after baling, it can catch fire. The bales create a lot of heat when stacked in storage, whether it's in a barn or covered with a tarp. 

To recap, from the time the grass is cut, to the time it's raked, is about three days, give or take. Then, depending on how much hay is on the ground, it can take one to two days to bale. The baling is a slow go. The tractor operator has to keep a close eye on his/her tracks, the equipment and the levers to know when the baler is full and ready to drop the bale. It's a daunting task and this is when things almost always seem to break. 

After the bales have dried in the field, it's time to move them. Loading them on a trailer and unloading them at your destination takes some time. But, it's all in a days work. Making hay is a craft. There's a rhyme and reason for everything. 

Well, there's a short lesson about hay. There's a lot more information about moisture content and the perfect times to cut/bale, but that's too technical for this post. 

Be sure to come see Team Tink tomorrow at the Decatur Farmers Market! Pork chops will be on sale. Plus, we will have plenty of options for your menu and items for your grill. Eggs, soap, and some Darby Farms chicken will also be available. We will be there from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Have a great weekend. We'll see you at market!

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