Watching the Weather

Internet weather forecasts make weather watching while hay making a different game from the past, with multiple updates during the day and hourly predictions.

You can still get caught out though. When Phil started mowing last Friday (26th June) a relatively stable period of weather was forecast. This slowly changed into a mix of hot sunshine and heavy, thundery showers.

For the first time in a long time we were caught with hay down that was nearly cured but not up on racks or otherwise protected when heavy showers hit on Wednesday (1st July). During this last 24 hours of settled weather we have been hard at work to save the hay and get it in before the next showers hit. Spreading, rowing, hauling, racking and making haycocks from several days worth of mowing to get it all safe.

The full story is to follow, right now I’m done in. Anyway, the hay is safe now – let it rain!

A hay rack and a heavy threatening looking sky

A hay rack and a heavy threatening looking sky

At 8pm we finished making haycocks from the greenest hay. The rain started as I took the picture

At 8pm we finished making haycocks from the greenest hay. The rain started as I took the picture

If you also like obsessing over weather forecasts, the ones we use are The Met Office and The Norwegian Meteorological Institute , (which we discovered on our trip to the Faroe Islands)

2 thoughts on “Watching the Weather”

  1. warwick nicholson

    The posts on haymaking by hand tools only, are fascinating, just one question, how many tripods/drying racks are needed per acre of fairly a average crop. I know that the answer can only be approximate but your estimate will be better than mine.
    W

    1. scythecymru Post Author

      We have about 12 hay racks, which would probably take about half an acre of our heavier cropping hay field (our top field crops in the region of 2 tonnes per acre, Mari Jones more – to be estimated this year – but still light compared to a lot of more improved fields.)

      Our racks have 5ft uprights with 3x4ft long rails and are generally considered to be quite small. Their size means we do not have to gather hay from too large a distance to fill them. In fields with heavier crops larger racks would probably be more suitable, which could be filled by gathering over the same area.

      We use our dozen racks in a continuous rotation, taking hay off them and into the barn at the first possible opportunity, usually within 2 weeks, then reusing them as necessary. We make about half an acre of hay a week, using racks when necessitated by weather conditions.

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