Saturday, June 9, 2012

Barley Straw 2012...

June is typically when the barley is ready to be harvested, and the straw baled for bedding.  I took this picture last week; the grain is dry...and the heads were beginning to droop on the stalks...

Thursday afternoon the combine came to harvest the barley.  We watched the sky in the west as we finished up milking.  There was a chance of thunderstorms, and the sky got darker...and it got windy...
The combine finished in the slightest of drizzles, and we watched...and the storm...went around us to the south. 

We are fortunate, and thankful to be spared the storm.  Rain on top of straw makes for a difficult time in getting the straw dry enough to bale.  Wet straw can't be baled and be good for anything. (at least not for what we need it for!)

Jim's baling here, and is about to switch out his full wagon for an empty one...

It was hot yesterday, but there was a nice breeze.  As you can see, the straw was flying as they unloaded all afternoon.  Itchiness...

The wall of straw and fodder in the upstairs of the barn had been nearly depleted.  No longer!  Jim estimates that he baled about 1100 bales of straw yesterday...

We had good helpers, and they had the chance to take breaks between wagon loads.  The dogs stayed nearby, hoping for a dropped crumb as they had some snacks...

After Jim was finished baling, I drove around the field to pick up a few bales that missed the wagon.  Murphy and Snickers tagged along.  Every time I stopped, Murphy hoped I'd let the truck door hanging open so she could hop in for a ride...

Then this morning, Jim blew the straw out of the baler before he put it away...temporarily...

...there's hay to bale on Monday!

The grain yield was excellent this year, and it was sold as a cash crop.  Today, Jim is cleaning out heifer pens and spreading the pen pack on the barley field, and next week, late corn will be planted, giving us a double crop on the barley fields.

And so...summer "vacation" begins!


  1. How wonderful to have such a great harvest this year!!

    Love all the pictures of your busy farm.
    It's nice to see everyone pitch in and work together for the good of the family and farm.
    Just as it should be :)

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Smiles :)

  2. Mmmmm... I remember the rich scent of fresh cut hay (even through the sneezing)~ your photographs are gorgeous! So glad your harvests are wonderful :)

  3. Glad the rain held off and you had such a good harvest! Summer "vacation" on a farm? ROTFL!!

  4. I love all of that. The other morning I was outside and I could smell the cut hay and it makes it seem so much like summer. I haven't done that kind of work in a long time. Looking at your pictures it made me remember the smell, and the sweat and the straw sticking to my skin.
    It was just a part of summer and I always felt so rich with hay stacked to the rafters.
    I was surprised you use square bales and not giant round ones. We use the same kind of square bales and the same kind of hay balers.
    Well not me but people out here.
    There is always so much work to do on a farm. Yep, I need to get off this computer. :)
    Have a great week Alica!

  5. I'm glad the weather cooperated. Weather is one the variables that makes farming such a gamble. But you know that all too well. Love the photos of the beautiful harvest and the pooches and kids.

  6. Glad the rain avoided your straw. Boy that stuff sure does hold moisture well. Love your helpers...can you send them our way? :)

  7. So glad it sounds like things are going well for you. We are so dry here, I'm afraid we won't get much for another round of hay.

  8. Such a beautiful post I enjoyed it very much. The farm is just great I really like it.


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