From Pipi’s Pasture: It’s haying season |

From Pipi’s Pasture: It’s haying season

Diane Prather

It has just been a couple of months ago — when we had rainy, cool weather — that ranchers were making predictions about haying season. Some thought that the 2016 haying season would be unusually wet; others predicted that the grasshoppers might be bad. The thing about ranching and farming is that a person never knows. Suddenly, however, haying season is here.

You know that it’s haying season when…

• it starts to rain.

• the wind comes up.

• every field you pass by has cut hay waiting to be baled or bales ready to be picked up.

• machinery in a partially cut or baled field looks as if it’s just “waiting” for somebody to run it — probably someone working at an away-from-the-farm job.

• the cows are looking over the fence, “savoring” the idea of eating freshly baled hay, even though they’re standing in tall grass.

• round bales have been gathered together, ready to be loaded on the trailer, hauled to a stackyard or shed, and stacked.

• a cooler of water is setting in the shade of a pickup truck in the hay field.

• somebody is off the tractor, working on a baler or other piece of haying machinery.

• a pickup truck is “waiting” in the field, loaded with a tool box and extra gas storage tank.

• birds are flying up in the hay field, landing on hay to pick up bugs or perhaps a snake.

• stacks of round or small bales are starting to grow.

• haying is what you hear ranchers talking about at the feed store, grocery store — almost anywhere.

• there’s plenty of activity around the implement dealerships.

• semi trucks, loaded with every size and shape of baled hay, run all directions on the highways.

• lights from farm machinery can be seen in hay fields at night, as ranchers take advantage of dry weather to get haying done.

• clouds of pollen can be seen flying up from fields of uncut hay.

• you see a rancher out in a field, checking to see if the hay is ready to be cut — if the bloom is at the right stage or if it isn’t too green.

• more than one person can be seen in the hay field as they cut, rake, and bale hay — a family affair.

• all eyes are on the sky, hoping to get haying done before the weather changes.

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