Sunday, September 16, 2012

More Portents From Katie Rose

More On Alfalfa
By Katie Rose

We are one of the few places in the nation that was able to grow and harvest alfalfa this year. We were not able to get a third cutting due to lack of rain and a late first harvest, but our fields were green and lush. We are extremely fortunate.
I don't know how the hay dealers in the rest of the country found us, but they surely did. And farmer, after farmer, after farmer sold their entire crop before harvest. I have never scrambled like I had to this Fall in order to secure food for my animals. I am 1/2 ton short, but feel extremely blessed to have enough to squeak through till Spring. I would like another ton, but have no idea where to get it. Oh, there are unethical folks who are saying their 60 lb. bales weigh 90-95 lbs., but I am not interested in doing business with them. They still have a few bales of hay left. No Thank You!
I am hearing that many were not so lucky. The alfalfa is gone, sold right out of the field. Usually there are hay barns stacked to the brim waiting for buyers, with farmers hoping that it will all sell. Not this year! It is all gone.
One of the local feed stores has begun to sell Timothy Pellets by the pallet (half ton) to those not fortunate enough to find any hay. Unbelievable! This is Fall and people are going to be buying pellets all Winter long!?!?
Last month I ordered a half ton of barley for my Redneck Fodder Experiment. I ordered it directly from a local farmer. He pre-sold it to me at the going rate, 12 cents a pound, $120.00 a half ton. When I went to pick it up this week I could tell I would need more, as I had no clue how much volume a half ton of barley was. So I asked if I could purchase another half ton. He smiled sweetly and said, "I haven't any. Since we spoke last month, the price I receive for barley went up to 18 cents a pound. I sold my entire crop. It's gone."
That is the word around here. GONE! Sold! GONE!
No full hay barns. No bales languishing in the fields waiting for buyers. No barley for sale. No wheat for sale. No oats for sale. It's all gone.
I will be driving over 200 miles round trip to pick up 80 lb bags of oats, wheat, and barley for my fodder experiment. There is none available locally. Every time I speak with the mill, it has gone up in price.
People who come to TF Metals are usually a cut above average. I'll let you draw your own conclusions from my personal experiences.
One thing I have learned from all this. Having personal relationships with local farmers has really paid off. And having been ethical with the farmers in the past, having kept my word when I have ordered from them, has made it possible for me to feed my animals this winter.
I hope you are filling your pantries right now. With QE III, a terrible Midwest harvest, and saber rattling everywhere, it is only a matter of time before the food shortages lead to food riots.
I truly do not see any other outcome.

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