Make hay while the sun shines

Posted Sept. 19, 2011, at 11:17 p.m.
With concerns about posible rain showers, Jeff Kelman keeps his eye on the baler as he hays his fields in Glenburn on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.
With concerns about posible rain showers, Jeff Kelman keeps his eye on the baler as he hays his fields in Glenburn on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.
Jeff Kelman (left) reaches to catch a falling bale of hay after he and son-in-law Jay Sullivan (right) stacked hay in the loft of Kelman's barn on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. "Hay in the loft is like money in the bank," says Kelman.
Jeff Kelman (left) reaches to catch a falling bale of hay after he and son-in-law Jay Sullivan (right) stacked hay in the loft of Kelman's barn on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. "Hay in the loft is like money in the bank," says Kelman.
A handful of feed is offered to the chickens that live on Jeff Kelman's farm after the hay was brought in from the fields on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.
A handful of feed is offered to the chickens that live on Jeff Kelman's farm after the hay was brought in from the fields on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.
With a socket wrench in one hand and steel lever in the other, Jeff Kelman changes cutter blades on his mower atachment before haying his fields on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011.
With a socket wrench in one hand and steel lever in the other, Jeff Kelman changes cutter blades on his mower atachment before haying his fields on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011.
"Smell how good that field smells? There is nothing sweeter then second cuts," said Kelman refering to the second time a field is hayed during the season. Cora, one of two horses is offerd hay as daughter Emma Sullivan exercises the horse on Saturday, Sept.10, 2011.
"Smell how good that field smells? There is nothing sweeter then second cuts," said Kelman refering to the second time a field is hayed during the season. Cora, one of two horses is offerd hay as daughter Emma Sullivan exercises the horse on Saturday, Sept.10, 2011.
A bale of hay falls off the back of Jeff Kelman's 1959 John Deere 14T baler as he pulls it along his hay fields in Glenburn on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.
A bale of hay falls off the back of Jeff Kelman's 1959 John Deere 14T baler as he pulls it along his hay fields in Glenburn on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.
Jeff Kelman jump-starts his 1956 Farmall tractor that he completely restored to working condition on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, before hooking a hay tedder to it and heading out into his sun-soaked hay fields. "I keep my hand in farming because it's a benchmark to appreciate the maximum amount of work for the minimum amount of money," said Kelman.
Jeff Kelman jump-starts his 1956 Farmall tractor that he completely restored to working condition on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, before hooking a hay tedder to it and heading out into his sun-soaked hay fields. "I keep my hand in farming because it's a benchmark to appreciate the maximum amount of work for the minimum amount of money," said Kelman.
"My equipment and I were both made in the '50s. It's a good match because we all move at the same speed," said Jeff Kelman on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011. Kelman has taken two of his 1950-era Farmall tractors and completely rebuilt them to working condition.
"My equipment and I were both made in the '50s. It's a good match because we all move at the same speed," said Jeff Kelman on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011. Kelman has taken two of his 1950-era Farmall tractors and completely rebuilt them to working condition.
A tray of homemade snacks and lemonade sits on the hay wagon waiting for tired family members to take a break after a long day haying on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.
A tray of homemade snacks and lemonade sits on the hay wagon waiting for tired family members to take a break after a long day haying on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.
Emma Sullivan stacks hay in the families barn on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011. The Kelman's two horses will rely on the hay that is harvested this fall to get them through the cold winter months.
Emma Sullivan stacks hay in the families barn on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011. The Kelman's two horses will rely on the hay that is harvested this fall to get them through the cold winter months.
Curious chickens poke their heads under the tractor as Jeff Kelman replaces cutter blades on the mowing attatchment on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011.
Curious chickens poke their heads under the tractor as Jeff Kelman replaces cutter blades on the mowing attatchment on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011.

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.

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