Unfavorable Tasks

We’re setting up two winter bale grazing areas this year. One area happens to be on a field that we cut and baled which means those bales did not need to be moved, so that saved some hauling. For the second area bales need to be hauled in.

We have use of a bale wagon that was co-purchased with a few farming neighbours and it was our turn with the bale wagon this past week.  Allen did most of the job and as of this morning, there were only a couple loads left to haul home. Since Allen had to leave for a few days of work and the next farmer is eager to use the wagon, it was up to me to bring in the last couple loads.

I’m comfortable with a lot of ranch chores but running such large equipment is not one of them. With the way we manage our farm, large equipment is seldom needed, so practice using it is sporadic. And I’m not like Allen, who innately understands the inner and outer workings of any piece of machinery he encounters, and instantly feels at home aboard them all. Luckily Allen had convinced me to come along with him last week and haul a load, so I had one lesson with the bale wagon.

This morning, feeling rather tentative, I climbed aboard the monstrosity of a tractor with it’s attached monstrosity of a bale wagon. I’m satisfied to say that with the exception of a few bales located too close to soughs for me to maneuver the beast of a tractor close enough to, I managed to get the last two loads hauled home.

In the afternoon I walked out to a pasture to take down some electranet, taking the dogs with me for the romp. Normally a simple enough task but not this go around. I have been working on this line of electranet for awhile. Last fall I had the bright idea to leave 1/4 of a mile worth of electranet up, thinking it would be needed in the same place again this summer. And it was BUT the pasture grasses, and particularly the milk vetch, grew up and into the netting so thick it’s a job and a half to even find the netting. I started removing the netting earlier in the fall, taking down one or two rolls at a time such was the slow progress and frustration. So forewarning to all who might be tempted to leave electranetting out for next year - don’t do it!

The job is a bit easier now since we have had several nights of freezing temperatures so all the green is gone from the grasses and the stems are brittle. I can pull on the netting and manage to lift it without breaking the strands. I got another two rolls rolled up this afternoon. Only about four more to go.