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Still plenty to do before harvest

Hail and dry conditions tool their toll

August was a crazy month of summerfallowing, cutting ditches for hay, baling, working on equipment, swathing the crop, and working in the garden.

On August 4 my very good friends from the States came to visit: Lacey from Wyoming and Michelle from Tennessee. Michelle is Joseph’s Godmother, but they are both well-loved “aunties.” They had so much fun playing with the little guy, who isn’t as little as they remember him. I’m sure they both went home exhausted at the end of the week.

On Aug. 12 we moved a bin home that we bought from the neighbour’s auction sale. We used the bale trailer that John had built and Gregory’s Mack truck with the crane on the back. Gregory lifted the bin, which didn’t have a floor, with the crane and set it on the trailer and then drove it home and set it down on the bin floor we had purchased earlier. The bin is on a gravel pad. It took a bit of work to get it into place and ready to use, but it will be very nice to have this year.

Other haying options

Gregory tried to cut our very short haydfield in Landis Aug. 17. He took the 25-foot pull-type swather, hoping to put enough into the swath for the baler to pick up. He made it a round and a half before the sickle head broke. The grass had taken a bad beating from the hail and between the grass that was beaten down and the short regrowth it was bunching up on the knife. We knew that it was going to be hard to get the hay off after the hail but after trying to swath it, we decided that it would be best to graze it this fall and hope for a better year next year. We got almost half of our hay for the winter from that one field last year. It is going to be a struggle trying to get enough hay out of the ditches and the sloughs for this winter.

While John was swathing the home wheat field Aug, 22, Gregory and I hauled a couple of loads of ditch bales home. It is slow going picking them out of the ditches. We got two loads home and then it started raining. It ended up raining four-tenths of an inch that day. We got a few more loads home over the next few days, but it looks like bale hauling is going to have to happen in between other projects this year.

The end of August turned out to be wet. There really wasn’t any great amount of rain at one time but it was cool and overcast, making everything very slow to dry out. As we wait for the hay and the crop to be dry enough there is plenty of preharvest maintenance and fixing to be done.

About the author

Contributor

Heather Eppich is a young former Idaho rancher building a new farm and family with her husband and young son, near Handel, Sask. Contact her at: [email protected]

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