When It's May, We Hay
With the sun shining for a long stretch in late May, we had great hot, dry weather for the season’s first haying. We have made about 670 bales of what looks like very high quality silage feed. We still have a couple more fields that we will cut to make into silage, and then we will switch over to making dry hay. Yields have been pretty good, especially on the land we spread manure on in April, and despite the dry conditions that persisted into last week, the grass is growing back fairly well.
We were pleased to get the first cut in early this season, as this will allow Bobolinks a wider window of time to reproduce. Professor Noah Perlut, who has been back for his 18th year of studying grassland birds at Shelburne Farms, reports that overall there seems to be robust populations of both Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows on the Farm this year. They are now starting to nest on our just cut fields (Noah will start looking and inventorying those nests shortly), and we won’t cut those fields again until after baby birds have had time to fledge.
In addition to the hay fields, our grazed pastures are also doing well: we are starting on the second time around rotationally grazing the dairy cows. The sheep will continue to graze in the fields around the Farm Barn.
Despite all that is happening around us, we continue to farm, and feel lucky to be able to do so.