Our crop is down too, about 2/3 of our regular crop. We had a cold spring (-8C in May didn’t help), then HOT and DRY since then, (with lots of wildfires locally), though we have irrigation. But one of our irrigation guns was out of commission early in the year, and is currently limping along, hoping that at some point the repair guy will find time to come by to truly work on it, and actually bring replacement parts.
Our first crop of alfalfa/grass, the good stuff, is in the barn. 280 bales so far, and about 50 of those took some rain, substantial rain (thunderstorms), but dried out just fine before baling. So not the candy we usually try to make, but OK (and maybe low sugar? Haven’t tested it). We don’t usually take a second crop, but will do a partial second cut this year, to attempt to boost our bale numbers. We do round bales usually, but I do some small squares also, in our little meadow grass fields, for my two mares who don’t do well on our good quality alfalfa mix hay. The first little grass field crop of small squares is in the barn as of yesterday, and I’m raking the second little field today. Will bale it and put it in the barn tomorrow. I don’t sell any of this, unless I must, for a friend. These little fields are my own pet project, hubby does the cutting, I do the rest alone (unless a thunderstorm is rolling in at the critical moment). It’s a labour of love that gives me satisfaction. Hubby hates little square bales, thinks that they are stupid. But I find them handy for these little pet projects that I love. My small square baler is older than I am. She has a temper, and opinions… a “lady’s baler”.
We do sell the round bales, the extra that we don’t need for ourselves. We don’t sell to commercial buyers, only private buyers. We won’t sell any until we know how many we are going to have in our full crop. Our regular buyers have put in their wish list… will see how we do filling those lists. We might get another 60 or so bales with the second cut we are planning. On a good year, we get 400 round bales in one cut. On an average year, we get about 350 in one crop. So it sounds like it has been a shitty hay growing year all over.