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Frequently Asked Questions
Is it organic? Is it weed-free?
No, it's neither! We do some spraying for weeds--we spot-spray by hand where there are problem weeds. That way we use as little spray as is practical, but it's still necessary to use some. Our hay has fewer weeds than most, but nobody's hay is "weed free". (Understand that there is a difference between truly weed-free and "certified"--the latter meaning that the hay is free of seeds and seed-heads of noxious weeds.)

How heavy are the bales?
They're typically somewhat over 50 lb. Bales from first cutting tend to be a little heavier. Now, let me warn you about heavy bales! Some folks think a bale should weigh at least 65 pounds or they're getting cheated. But realize that the standard small bales are all pretty much the same: They come out of a baler with a standard-size opening, and the bales have to be the same size or the stacker wagon wouldn't be able to pick them up, and they have to be roughly the same "tightness" or you'd see either broken twine or loose bales falling apart.

So what makes one bale weigh 15 pounds more than another?
If a bale has a lot of alfalfa, it will be heavier than a bale of just grass hay. And again, first cutting weighs a little more per bale than second. BUT, if they're roughly the same kind of grass, the difference is probably just water! The heavier bale probably wasn't dried well enough in the field before it was baled. That means it won't keep as well, and it's likely to mold inside. Lately I've seen some folks cut one morning and bale by the next afternoon. That's going to be bad hay, because there is absolutely no way a decent hay crop can dry and cure in under two days. Even a light crop, in hot dry weather, will need three days.

When will you have hay? How long is it available?
I can't tell you when we'll cut, or bale, or have hay in the barn, until it actually happens. We do absolutely no speculation. We won't sell or promise anything we don't have. One shower at the wrong time can turn great hay into so-so hay. Two or three rainstorms at the wrong time can turn great hay into cattle fodder. But given that...we cut five times a year (the norm for coastal hay in this area). The first cutting will happen sometime in late May. The last cutting will be around the end of November. Hay is available until we run out. That's just the way it works. Typically we'll have hay from later part of May through the end of the year or the first frost in November, but one year we were sold out by mid-October. We don't hold hay back, though. If we have it we will sell it.

What's the difference between the two cuttings?
First cutting is larger, coarser. Second cutting will have more clover in the bales from our north field. Amount of alfalfa depends on the amount of rain and our irrigation...alfalfa tends to do better when it's dry because it has an enormous tap root that can find moisture when the grass can't. There isn't a lot of alfalfa in our fields anyway, but if this is a concern to you, ask us about the particular crop(s) we've got in the barn.

(in August) That hay in your barn looks straw-pale. What's wrong with it?
When hay is exposed to the sun, it bleaches out. So if we have hay sitting in the barn for a month or two, and nobody's buying any because everyone has pasture in mid-summer, the same bales face the morning sun day after day, and the surface of those bales loses the nice green color. The bleaching only goes in half an inch or so on the sun-facing side and doesn't affect the quality of the hay. Come on up and I'll show you.

Do you deliver? Will you help me load my truck?
We do deliver for additional fees. Yes we do load trucks and trailers.

Can I reserve hay from the next cutting?
No. We don't sell hay that we don't have. Until the hay is baled and stacked, we don't know how much (if any!) we will get, and we don't know what price it will be.

Can I pay you now and have you hold it?
No. We operate "cash and carry". You come to us, buy hay, and take it away. (You may pay with cash or local check.) Here's why we won't store it: Liability: Once you pay for the hay, it's your property. We don't want to be responsible if the hay gets wet, or is stolen, or whatever. Quality: Hay degrades over time, no two ways about it. So I don't want to sell you hay now and have you complain two months later that it has been bleached by the sun. Capacity: We don't have the barn space for storage. We can barely store one good first cutting, so we need to move the hay out when it's sold.

Escondido Farms
3169 CR 2400
Moore, TX 78057
210-825-1121
 
 
 
 
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