Make Hay While the Sun Shines

Make Hay While the Sun Shines

July 2024 vol. 1

It’s been a busy month for us, capped off with a wonderful family vacation in Hilton Head. Now that we’re back home and back to work, we find ourselves missing the cooler coastal weather, but we’re grateful for the rain that came through while we were gone.  

Here in Texas, there’s a saying: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.” Well, it’s been a lot longer than a minute (more like two years), but the weather sure has changed.

For the past two years, we’ve been in a drought, receiving just 26 inches of rain each year, compared to our annual average of 35 inches. However, this year we’ve already hit 20 inches! This has resulted in an abundance of lush, green grass. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been busy converting that surplus grass into hay to feed our cattle during the winter months when the grass goes dormant. Thanks to the wet spring, we managed to harvest 115 bales (49 from our leased property and 66 from our ranch).

We typically need about 100 bales of hay for the winter. In the drought years, I had to purchase nearly all of it, with prices soaring to $150 per bale due to high demand. Fortunately, the recent rains have created a surplus of hay, bringing prices down to about $80 per bale, just a bit above the 2021 price. Given the wet spring, we were able to harvest 115 bales, and unless the weather changes dramatically, we expect to get a second (and possibly a third) cutting before the fall.

You may recall that we signed a lease for 66 acres just a few miles down the road. This has nearly doubled our pasture land, which has been a game changer for our cattle. Now, we have more land than cattle, resulting in an abundance of hay. My plan is to add more cows eventually, turning that grass into beef. In the meantime, I’m planning to sell some of this hay to cover the lease and harvesting costs, and hopefully have a few bucks left over to buy a few more cows.

See you at the market!

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