Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Millet Mess

The millet field had begun to top out. The goats and sheep were not eating it fast enough. It has been a wonderful forage crop this summer, growing well and staying lush and thick. Knowing that it was not supposed to be let go to seed we decided we would mow it for hay. We plan to plant winter rye grass in that pasture this fall anyway. Our plans were to mow it fairly high so the animals could continue to graze it until we planted the new crop.We watched the weather for several days and although there was a slight chance of rain, 20%, we went ahead and mowed yesterday. Last night the weather took a drastic change. They were now calling for strong storms to roll in today and tomorrow. The boys teddored it twice today trying to get it dry enough to bale. I got off work around 4 to help load once we started baling. The sky started to darken right as we got started. The winds picked up and then the thunder started. Now I will work until the cows come home in the rain, but I scamper at the first sight of lightening. Once it started I was ready to quit but they wanted to load a few more. So, I finished driving the tractor as the boys threw the hay but we were cut short by the storm. I pulled into the barn just as the bottom fell out of the sky. I cut open a few bales to see what we had and it was too damp. I fluffed those up and will fed them in the next day or two. Unfortunately the rest will have to become erosion control as they will mold very soon and I don't want them in the barn because of the possibility of heat building in them.
We chalked it up to experience. It was not a huge loss since there were only 35 bales in the field. It will definitely be an annual summer crop for us, it provided lots of extra grazing and at the end would have made a decent hay crop for such a small field. My dairy goats loved it as forage as well as hay, so it was a win, win crop.

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