October 19, 2021

From the Fields: Last cutting of hay

Well, it’s here already, and I’m excited, to say the least. We saw quite a bit of activity this past week in the fields around our county. The majority of people started shelling corn at some higher moisture levels to either fill early fall delivery contracts or to take advantage of some incentives the local elevators do each year to get early corn in the door. The lowest moisture levels I’ve heard of were around the 18% range and highest was 35%, quite a big swing from what side of the county you were on and what kind of dirt you farm. The last few days I saw a few guys beginning to cut some soybeans, so it will be interesting to hear some moisture levels and yields coming in. The beans have looked good again this year, but you never know until you actually get them run and see what the field averages.

We haven’t started harvest on our farm yet, but we are close. We always have a list to check off of things to do before we get started each year. We will spend some time next week doing some prep work around the farm and making sure we have what we need before we head to the fields. The combine should just need looked over and greased since we serviced it and used it this summer in wheat. Everything else is pretty much ready. Just have to do a look over and make sure it’s serviced and lubed up well. Spraying bins for bugs, servicing leg and changing out some electric motors on bins and fans are a few other small jobs we need to do, as well, before we start using the bin site again. It all takes time and we all get anxious to go, but we want to try and eliminate as many breakdowns as we can beforehand.

We cut our last cutting of hay Thursday afternoon. It was actually really good hay again, which usually doesn’t happen when we get this late in the season. We ended up not wet wrapping this and just made some dry hay for the cows. We will feed all the wet hay we can first, but we like to transition them on some dry before we turn them out on grass in spring. We baled one load of small squares for calving season, as well. I think it was hotter Saturday than it was when we baled straw this summer. We just didn’t have any air moving at all and the sun sure was beating down. It was just one load, so maybe I’m getting soft because it sure seemed like those bales were heavier than normal.

I hope everyone is as eager as I am to start harvest. Remember to be patient and alert as lots of equipment and people start moving around again this fall. I’m as anxious as anyone else, but it’s always a good reminder to slow down and take our time to avoid an accident. Stay safe and have a bountiful harvest.

Will Swope

Will Swope

Hope, Ind.