We have finished haying for 2018, things have calmed down - except for the coming aftermath of Hurricane Florance. We're expecting rain and some wind, but have our fingers crossed there will be no damage. I have one field, "The Bull Pasture" that can get some water in it from Potts Creek running along side.
Activities going on at the Jamison Family Farm are multifold, we will be taking soil samples of all our fields and applying lime (as necessary), certainly potassium (sometimes referred to as potash) and phosphorus. It's good to also apply a little nitrogen in the fall as it promotes tillering - read leafy material. We can't get straight phosphorus from our supplier, but they have what is called DAP - diammonium phosphate. Fertilizer is typically identified by numbers, for example, most are familiar with a bag of 10-10-10. That bag, in order of the numbers, has 10% nitrogen (N), 10% phosphorus (P) and 10% potassium (K). The DAP we apply is 18-46-0, so we get 18% nitrogen along for the ride when we apply it - scratching the itch for fall applied nitrogen, while filling the need for phosphorus.
The "10"; we will continue to clear with hopes we can plant Teff in it next year. Our field of timothy on Crown Hill appears strong; we should get a bumper crop out of it in 2019.
We thought we'd have a new barn of some sort in 2018, but for various reasons, that did not happen. Clearing the "10" and adding hay shelter space is our highest priority going into the Spring of 2019. On another front, our International Harvester Farmall 756 is likely to get an engine rebuild, wide front end and a few other upgrades. Pic of 756 below...
If you've ever visited the farm or bought hay from us, often we point beyond the "big house" to the "hill". That is where Crown Hill resides, along with many other fields - all of which, to the extent we can safely put a tractor on them, will become hay fields. When I was on the farm the other day, I took this panoramic picture looking down from the "top" of the hill.
Crown hill is just ahead center-left. If you could fly beyond those mountains straight ahead - you would land in Covington.
Without a doubt, 2018 has been both a very difficult, yet a very successful year haying. We struggled with unrelenting rain - causing delays and hampering dry down, etc. We also had our share of equipment breakdowns. While we made more hay than we ever have, we only made about 60% of what we could, but hay we did make tested-out extremely well. Some rain delays caused hay to become overripe, as well as, letting weeds grow-in. We refuse to bale trash hay and pass it off as "horse quality hay", and several acres were let go to seed and bush hogged down. We do have some "goat" customers on a budget and any hay we deem not "horse quality" in our stack, they are glad to take at a reduced price. It helps them and helps us empty our barn. The pic below is our Massey Ferguson model 50 diesel taking down what would have been a nice timothy field had the weather cooperated. The good news with that field is - the timothy went to seed, so we got something out of it.
I'll be writing more blogs, putting up more pics and adding a few haying videos as we roll out of Summer into Fall and Winter. While things may be slowing down a bit, we continue to pursue First Quality Hay.