I bought hay at the beginning of the summer, last year’s, for 40 dollars a bale, but only 10 bales and 10 bales of green feed, which is grain that is grassy and has not fully developed seed heads that was cut for hay. Now, I also bought 20 bales of hay at $140 a bale, which arrived today on a huge semi truck. The driver had to wait for the farmer to load his truck, drive nearly an hour to my place and then he used my skid steer to unload because I asked him to because I was inept. So for around three hours of time, and the running of his truck, he only charged $280 to deliver the hay. I know that those trucks use plenty of fuel and are not cheap to buy. $280 will not make him rich. He was a nice guy, the sort of decent fellow who is not going to short change the cashier and who would be willing to help some one if asked. I liked him a lot.
The next door neighbor also has been bringing hay, 60 smaller bales of it at $40 for the poor quality and $55 for the better, but not good quality. His bales are just less than half the size of the $140 bales, so the cost is about the same. Now I have plenty of hay for the winter and grain too. I know I won’t need that much hay, but it will be useable the following year, though won’t be as good as fresh. Still, it retains its nutrients as long as it is stored on its side so the moisture cannot penetrate it.
I went to St. Paul to ask about applying for work as a substitute teacher. It is a job I can do for 5 hours a day, just 15 minutes or less from my home and earn about $225 per day. I am not ecstatic about having to go back to work, but as long as we are a depressed economy, I will do it if I have to and I do. I should be home by 3:30 pm and do not have to work 5 days a week, plus will have holidays and summers to play on the farm and to buy more hay next year.
Those people who have not gotten enough hay this year to feed their animals will try to sneak through the winter and hope for an early spring. Some will want to buy hay during the late winter and I could sell some then. Prices will have gone up even more. Or I could just keep it until next winter and not have to buy much next year. Either way, with going back to work and already being well stocked, the should be lots of room to breathe and not to have to worry about not being able to feed most of the animals. Now, for the dogs, that is a different story. They cannot eat hay, obviously and their feed costs me $500 a month. I do a bit of scrounging for freezer burned meat, but generally, I must buy the meat and bones and kibble for them. Even the pigs eat hay though, just not those hounds!