At last, today we will finish first crop hay!
The weather has stretched our harvest to take two weeks longer than normal. We usually have a break between crops. But that is not so this year. We will begin second crop right away. Yet with the rains we had earlier in June, there was a 3-week delay between the second and third cuttings. So there will be a break in this crop, too. During that break time, we must let the alfalfa have time to grow and mature. So we will deviate from the normal summer routine and still get the harvest.
Most of the hay that we have made this summer has been stored in our hay shed. The hay shed is a structure made with no walls. Posts hold up the roof to protect the hay from the rain and snow. The bottom bales have been soaked in deluge rains in times past. So we now place the bottom layer of bales on wooden pallets. This lifts them up to protect them from flooding in the event that we get more heavy rains. The exposure to air (in the building with out walls) gives the hay that may still have some moisture content a chance to be dried or at least to keep cool.
Hay that goes into a building like the barn must be dry. Any moisture can cause decay and that produces heat. The heat becomes great enough that it can start fires. With second crop hay, we are looking at putting most of it in the barn. So the hay quality is even more crucial than for our first crop. We are still dependent on the Lord’s provision of dry, hot weather.