Update

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We’ve had quite a few calls for hay, so I thought I’d send you a quick update on production and availability.

We have about 6 round bales of hay in stock for any urgent immediate needs, but no square bales. Please email us if you need the rounds. $40 each, net wrapped, stored outside, 5% alfalfa.

Our little valley is ready to begin harvesting as soon as the weather permits, i.e. no rain expected for a three-day window. One field was mowed yesterday, but that is slated for haylage since it rained last night.

If you need hay this season, please email us (rather than trying to call) at info@klabundefarms.net and we’ll get you into the production schedule. Pricing is currently $7.00 per small square.

This hay season is turning into the best harvest conditions I have seen in some time. Not in terms of tons per acre or early harvesting, but rather for outstanding hay quality. The cooler spring temperatures and rain are causing the growth timing of our alfalfa and grasses to perfectly align — meaning they are all at peak harvest stages simultaneously.

Each species of forage in a field needs to be harvested just as they first begin to flower. Harvest before this stage, and you compromise the long-term health of the plant. Harvest after this stage and the hay quality declines dramatically.

As a plant begins to flower, it’s energy stores are used to begin the reproduction process — leaving less energy and nutrients in the hay. Late harvesting reduces nutrient density, energy, and palatability, and leaves the hay physically coarse and stemmy.

The trick is to achieve a hay stand in which all the species in the mix reach the perfect growth stage at the same time.

Here are a few samples of perfect growth timing taken from one of our fields today:

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This is one of the few alfalfa flowers just beginning to bloom in the field. If more than 10% of the buds have flowered, the hay is past peak harvesting and will be increasingly stemmy. This field is <1% in flower today.

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The long and slender Timothy grass seed heads are just beginning to emerge from the flower stem.

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Barely ahead of the Timothy grass, the Orchard grass is also in early boot stage with its unique flower just beginning to emerge.

We carefully select our plant varieties to help achieve good growth timing and buy the highest quality seeds to ensure consistency. But nothing is more impactful than the blessing of good seasonal weather patterns!

The hay pictured above was harvested today, and we hope to have it baled early this coming week if the weather holds.

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We are enjoying a cool and wet Spring on our farm, which has delayed the start of our hay season. Based on current hay field conditions, I anticipate we will begin harvesting at the next window with no rain in the forecast — hopefully in the next two weeks.

Our first harvest will be a 40% alfalfa mix with grass hay.

We want to invite you to join us on Facebook and share the excitement of our growing farm! Also, be sure to check out our new Pastured Pork website, Hands-On Hogs.

We look forward to seeing you this year!

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It’s been a little quiet on our Hay For Sale postings here, so I want to give you an update on 2015 hay production.

In short, it hasn’t stopped raining. We were fortunate to have two successful first cutting harvests before the rain started, but only managed to get in about 1/3 of our usual alfalfa mix and 1/2 of our Timothy hay. Nearly all of it sold out within days, with customers driving from as far as Illinois as the rain has impacted hay production across the midwest.

We are hoping to harvest some additional hay this weekend, and will be taking much greater chances with rain than we usually do in order to try to get hay in the barn for you. I also anticipate the hay quality and volume to be lower as we get into our second and third cuttings, as the grasses and legumes are both flowering much earlier in their growth cycle. Hopefully we’ll have July and August conditions that will get everything back on track.

Please keep an eye on our website at https://indianahayonline.com//for-sale/, and sign up for harvest notifications on the left side of the website.

Thank you, and have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

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A New Season

  

We are entering the Spring rush of hay growth — my favorite time of year, and the most beautiful. It won’t be long before our first cutting is underway. 

Our alfalfa, Timothy, Orchard mix field is looking incredible (top photo, taken today), and the pure Timothy fields look strong so far. 

If you haven’t already, take a moment to let us know what you may need this year so we can schedule our production to your needs. 

Our first cutting from field 5 will be coinciding with a remodel of our hay barn, so we will aim for selling the entire cutting out of the field. This is our best selling mix every year, at around 25% alfalfa. If you need this mix, be sure to watch our website for notification that harvest is underway in late May. Field 2, with 50% alfalfa, should also be coming in about the same time. 

We hope you had a wonderful Winter season, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

From the middle of Field 2,

Kenneth and Jake

  

Rained out

The 3rd cutting we posted earlier this week just got rained out. Hopefully we can bale it later this week, and it will be sold as cattle feed. Always disappointing…this was going to be very nice hay.

We have one more alfalfa mix field that we hope to take a third cutting on. We’ll keep you posted. Then that will be it for the season.

An update on hay that is currently available in the barn will be posted in a few minutes.

We mowed all of field 5 this evening for the start of our third cutting. This hay will average 35% alfalfa, and is in early budding stage — only 1% in flower — so this will be a soft, sweet hay.

We’ll post available quantities and pricing as soon as the bales are in the barn on Saturday. Some is already pre-ordered, so contact us early if you’re interested in this cutting.

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Be sure to take a look at the What To Expect From Our Hay section for important information about our premium horse hay.

Have a great holiday weekend!

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Later this season we will be harvesting our first trial planting of Teff grass. It is a fast growing and drought tolerant summer forage, with a fine texture and similar nutrient profile to Timothy grass. Pictured below is our 2 acre test plot about two weeks after germination. I’m already loving it!

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More information on the feed quality of Teff grass can be found at http://teffgrass.com/feeding-teff

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This has been a good cool and moist season for Timothy hay, our highest demand product. More will be in the barn this weekend.

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Jake managing quality control from the top of the wagon…

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