Often times, I get the question, "How DO you make hay?" Below you'll find a step by step trip through the haymaking process at HD Farm.
When we start a field from scratch, we turn the ground to kill all the previous grasses and weeds. We've found this to be an excellent method for loosening the soil, adding extra compost for nutrient rich land and it also eliminates the need for a chemical herbicide.
After 2-3 weeks, we disc the field to smooth it for planting.
This is a photo taken from the tractor discing. Our 14ft wide seeder cultivates the soil as it drill seeds the chosen grass seed.
This is Teff that has germinated after only 5 days.
The most productive hay fields have been fertilized! We use AGGRAND all natural fertilizer to encourage the best grass possible.
The fertilizer does it's job!
After the grass is the appropriate height (and there is a window of 3-4 sunny, dry days), it is mowed using a mower/conditioner.
After the hay dries on the top, we ted the hay using a 4 basket tedder. This spins quickly grabbing the loose hay and tossing it into the air to fluff it up. Tedding allows air to circulate throughout and cure the hay completely.
The loose, completely dried hay is then raked into windrows to prepare it for baling. This occurs in the morning and baling happens in the afternoon. We test the moisture in the hay as we bale to be sure that it's cured appropriately.
Baling on a HOT July afternoon with the brand new baler.
The yellow piece of equipment following the baler is called an accumulator. It collects bales in groups of 8 and releases them in a set. We then take grapple forks and pick up the bales to stack them on the trailers. This helps eliminate some of the handling and saves a significant amount of time in the fields.
All loaded up and ready for delivery! This is also when I take core samples to send off for nutritional analysis. We are always striving to offer the best hay possible. The tests let us know how we are doing and allows our customers the ability to feed with confidence.
Now you've seen a little glimpse of what goes into every bale of HD Farm hay. A bit of money and a lot of time & effort. Farming is a passion, just like horses.
We wouldn't do it if we didn't love it.
Hopeful Dreams Farm