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We recently moved into a modest home on what we think is a beautiful 18.5 acres. There's about 10 acres in hay in the front of the property, maybe 2 or so where the house, shop, tractor shed and chicken coops sit and another 6 or 7 in the back that's heavily wooded. It's just NE of Ada, OK. We absolutely love it here.

Anyway, we got a lot of rain over the past month. We have someone to cut and bale the hay and my neighbor wanted to buy it all after it was done. I've never seen the process from start to finish and honestly I found it really fascinating. A fella who's cut it before came over with a BIG Kubota tractor and cutter and made short work of the 10 acres. 2 days later he and his wife came over (she had ANOTHER big Kubota with a rake) and got it all raked and baled. We got 37 bales from the 10 acres. I don't know anything about hay but that seems pretty good to me.

I really enjoyed watching them work and looking over the pasture in the evening just before sundown and seeing the big bales out there just looked very peaceful and relaxing for some reason. Next day the neighbor came over and we hauled it all over to his place.

We plan to get a few goats, some chickens and maybe some guineas. We're also talking about planting a small apple and peach orchard.

I've gotten to the point I don't even like to leave the place I like it so much.
 

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looking over the pasture in the evening just before sundown and seeing the big bales out there just looked very peaceful and relaxing for some reason

I've gotten to the point I don't even like to leave the place I like it so much.

Yep! I am feeling that my friend.
 
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I do one more step with hay. I leave the square bales on the trailer/wagon under the shed for a week to allow the "sweat" along with thermometers to monitor heating. Leaving it on the wagon allows saving the shed if the hay heats dangerously. Pull it out before opening the stack with the fire dept at the ready. Has not happened yet but there's always the first time.
 

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hmmmmmmmm...this may explain why my field looks like Mars.

At one time the grass was head high plus........soil is poor at best.

No clue how to revive it.
Its all sloped so theres that to deal with.
Basicly zero topsoil....couple inches in places...better in the low spots.
Irrigation is out of the ?
Nothng but rain for months on end...just quit and parts of it are rock hard in 3 days.
60* for ...since April......95* tommorrow

Its a no win lost cause ......and I'm in the PNW...the wet corner
 

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hmmmmmmmm...this may explain why my field looks like Mars.

At one time the grass was head high plus........soil is poor at best.

No clue how to revive it.
Its all sloped so theres that to deal with.
Basicly zero topsoil....couple inches in places...better in the low spots.
Irrigation is out of the ?
Nothng but rain for months on end...just quit and parts of it are rock hard in 3 days.
60* for ...since April......95* tommorrow

Its a no win lost cause ......and I'm in the PNW...the wet corner
adding nutrients will make a huge difference ....and they will mostly stay onsite till you take a crop away.......and adding synthetic nutrients "fertilizer" will over time change the soil ph so thus the need for lime to keep soil neutral to sweet ....if you just mow the property the nutrients stay there but you can change the mix of plants by disturbing their natural growth and seed cycles ......so you might need seed replacement of natural grasses or whatever your missing now .....sometimes it can be real hard to recover poor soil
 

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Its a mess......theres areas that real fine grass grows just a few inchs tall....first good sunshine ...its dead. Other areas grass will be 4'...and too wet too mow.

then the better flatter part of field.......grassy/weedy.

Been too afraid too till or disc...maybe I'm a Sissy.. its sloped and we been super wet /hard big rains.
I don't wanna loose what I got.

Opportunity to get a few loads of dirt from the Vinyard next door......if it looks decent I said I'd take 10 loads......If its this rocky crap I goot thats a no go.
I'm hoping to help/be hired/or use my machine on part of the project so I can pick and choose what loads...and its a 1/2 mile haul with dumptruck ..ram 4500 or dump trailer..soo its easy at least.
 

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Its a mess......theres areas that real fine grass grows just a few inchs tall....first good sunshine ...its dead. Other areas grass will be 4'...and too wet too mow.

then the better flatter part of field.......grassy/weedy.

Been too afraid too till or disc...maybe I'm a Sissy.. its sloped and we been super wet /hard big rains.
I don't wanna loose what I got.

Opportunity to get a few loads of dirt from the Vinyard next door......if it looks decent I said I'd take 10 loads......If its this rocky crap I goot thats a no go.
I'm hoping to help/be hired/or use my machine on part of the project so I can pick and choose what loads...and its a 1/2 mile haul with dumptruck ..ram 4500 or dump trailer..soo its easy at least.
i would be leery of any tillage also......i would soil test just to see what you are dealing with and go from there....would be great if you could get ahold of some manure or compost to spread regularly to build soil depth....but plants will do that if you get things right just takes time
 

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Take a soil sample. Google the directions, something like between 3-6” down only, or similar. I don’t remember exactly. There is a place near Scholls Ferry and 217 that tests for around $40 per sample and they will give you a recommendation that you can take to Valley to translate. You probably need to raise your PH with lime, sounds like a considerable amount. The fine low grower might be rat tail fescue. The crap takes over if not sprayed out and then the grass won’t grow.

I tested in the fall and applied 1.5T/acre of lime to bring mine up. It’s around $80/ton applied but you need to buy the whole 28 or 30 ton load. Maybe you can share with a neighbor.
 

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Its a mess......theres areas that real fine grass grows just a few inchs tall....first good sunshine ...its dead. Other areas grass will be 4'...and too wet too mow.

then the better flatter part of field.......grassy/weedy.

Been too afraid too till or disc...maybe I'm a Sissy.. its sloped and we been super wet /hard big rains.
I don't wanna loose what I got.

Opportunity to get a few loads of dirt from the Vinyard next door......if it looks decent I said I'd take 10 loads......If its this rocky crap I goot thats a no go.
I'm hoping to help/be hired/or use my machine on part of the project so I can pick and choose what loads...and its a 1/2 mile haul with dumptruck ..ram 4500 or dump trailer..soo its easy at least.
Get a soil test on your existing soil before you do anything else. The basic parameters are N, P, K and PH but you can add other elements including a carbon test for organic matter. Without a soil test you are just guessing what it needs and that can get expensive really quickly.

You can get on site advice from your local Cooperative Extension Service and that's free plus they usually have a great feel for local conditions. The staff is usually spread pretty thin so it might not happen today but they are a great resource. Same with your local Soil and Water Conservation District staff.
 

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I think it would be great if every kid got to experience hay baling season. I spend every summer from second grade thru 10 grade on my grandparent's farm. My grandfather would cut hay in the evening after dinner with a John Deere 50 and #5 mower. A couple of days later I would rake the hay into wind rows with a John Deere 40. The next afternoon we would hook up a train behind the 50 consisting of a New Holland Supper 66 baler and two Montgomery Wards wagons. We'd bale hay all afternoon. 100 bales on each wagon. We'd unload into the barn using a Smoker Elevator. My grandfather did all of the heavy lifting, I mostly drove tractor. 10,000 bales every summer from 1961 to 1968. What a great summer job for a kid. Something I will always cherish. The photo shows some of my high school friends coming up to help bale hay. You can tell we had some city kids. Cutoff jeans don't do well on the hay wagon.
Sky Tire Wheel Tractor Cloud
 

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great picture!

And I agree, great summer job!
 
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I think it would be great if every kid got to experience hay baling season. I spend every summer from second grade thru 10 grade on my grandparent's farm. My grandfather would cut hay in the evening after dinner with a John Deere 50 and #5 mower. A couple of days later I would rake the hay into wind rows with a John Deere 40. The next afternoon we would hook up a train behind the 50 consisting of a New Holland Supper 66 baler and two Montgomery Wards wagons. We'd bale hay all afternoon. 100 bales on each wagon. We'd unload into the barn using a Smoker Elevator. My grandfather did all of the heavy lifting, I mostly drove tractor. 10,000 bales every summer from 1961 to 1968. What a great summer job for a kid. Something I will always cherish. The photo shows some of my high school friends coming up to help bale hay. You can tell we had some city kids. Cutoff jeans don't do well on the hay wagon. View attachment 847602
I got a kick outa the "city kid" comment .....we had mostly football coaches in the citys that would tell their kids to get summer jobs on the farm to "toughen up" ...well i had a hay crew that ran almost 24hrs a day during hayseaon JUNE ...just changed people during the day about every 1000 bales......the athletes sent from city were fun to watch it was predictable the first bale of hay they could throw thru a brick wall ......about a hundred later they were at the water jug like baby on a bottle....at 500 they were done......the real test of their fortitude was if they came back the next day the ones that did usually ended up as starters on the football team ......most were good kids just never exposed to that kind of hardship
 

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I got a kick outa the "city kid" comment .....we had mostly football coaches in the citys that would tell their kids to get summer jobs on the farm to "toughen up" ...well i had a hay crew that ran almost 24hrs a day during hayseaon JUNE ...just changed people during the day about every 1000 bales......the athletes sent from city were fun to watch it was predictable the first bale of hay they could throw thru a brick wall ......about a hundred later they were at the water jug like baby on a bottle....at 500 they were done......the real test of their fortitude was if they came back the next day the ones that did usually ended up as starters on the football team ......most were good kids just never exposed to that kind of hardship
Ttazzman,
Same here. In the photo the guy running the tractor was our starting quarterback, the guy with the hay hook was our starting defensive middle guard and the guy with the cutoffs was a second team running back. There were eight of us total visiting the farm, six of the eight were first string players.
 
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