Tis the season, and I sure don’t mean Christmas. (196 days, 11 hours, 54 minutes, if you are keeping track at home. I DO love Christmas!)
It’s haying season here in western Kentucky, and that is hot, sweaty work when you’re hauling square bales. Around here, most folks only bale up the high-dollar alfalfa hay into the 50 pound (give or take) two-string bales. These are used most for horses, pets and show animals.
The large round bales (pictured) are generally known as “grass hay” and contain ryegrass, maybe some alfalfa and clover. There’s debate in some parts of the ag world, pitting large square bales against these round bales. Sure, the squares stack better (yes, they ARE rectangles, and yes, we DO call them square bales…) but the round bales have been known to pack more tightly, and they fit so nicely in the round-bale feeders most cattle farmers in our neck of the wood have.
Hay is very sensitive to weather conditions, and getting it cut, raked into windrows and baled before it gets wet is sometimes a race against time and Mother Nature. The great thing about large bales is that they’re moved by tractor, thus eliminating for some farmers the physically demanding task of hauling hay. I remember when I was younger, our farm boys would never have needed CrossFit. Hauling hay, packing calves and cutting tobacco kept them plenty fit, thank you.