Make hay while the sun shines

Posted Sept. 19, 2011, at 11:17 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 20, 2011, at 11:55 a.m.

Farming for quality horse hay is largely dependent on four consecutive days of sunny weather.

“You got to make hay while the sun shines,” said Jeff Kelman of Glenburn. “It’s like the law of gravity; you just can’t ignore it.”

Kelman and his wife, Annabelle, who live on a small farm, know September is a time to keep one eye on the sky and the other on The Weather Channel, looking for the best days to harvest the long shafts of hay that will feed their two horses.

“On a sunny day like today, there is no better place to be than on the seat of this tractor,” says Kelman, who has restored two 1950s-era Farmall 300 tractors to use on the farm. The bright sun on Saturday, Sept. 10, allowed Kelman and his helpers to ted the hay, gently fluffing it to speed up the drying process.

Kelman’s daughter Emma Sullivan, who cares for and trains the horses, knows that keeping the hay dry after it’s cut will prevent damp hay, which could mold and cause serious health problems for the horses.

As the hay was being baled, storm clouds threatened to spoil the work done thus far. After some worried glances toward the sky and a quickened pace to the baling, the clouds parted and the sun shone down again, allowing for a successful harvest.