time to cut hay

Time to Cut Hay

You’d think we would have a house first and a place to live on the farm before we actually started farming right? Nope, because it’s time to cut hay and hopefully reap the benefits!

As I’ve said before, this year everything is growing so fast with plenty of sunshine on the fields. The way the weather is fairing this season, we would have been able to get in three cuttings had we the equipment.

So how are we cutting hay without any equipment this year?

I’ve enlisted the services and talents of the “Yeehaw” farmer who farms across the road a ways from us. Tom is a 5th generation Willsborian and has been haying for many years. He cuts hay on a plethora of farms in our area and will cut ours this season as well.

A good bargain

So he has the equipment and I have the lush fields. What we agreed on is a barter/sale system where I will get a share of the round bales and he will pay me a percentage on the bales he sells. But the value of this arrangement doesn’t end there. The bonus is that we get to start creating a farm sales history much sooner than we expected. It’s a small thing but feels like we’re making progress.

Building a history on paper

The Schedule F formĀ is where you declare farming profits & losses and this is what we will fill out and submit come tax time next year. It’s this form that establishes a sales history and it can come in handy down the road. You can use this form as proof of your farming operation when it comes time to apply for benefits like the Agricultural Property Tax Exemption and even getting a Residential Utility discount that NYSEG is currently offering.

We’ve been so gung-ho on making plans for a place to live that we almost forgot that the land can be farmed without us really being there right now.

Lots of good reasons to cut hay

If you take into account all the factors: establishing the farm business and sales history, a future reduction in property taxes with the agricultural exemption and a reduction in our electric bill through NYSEG – all from cutting hay. Yes indeed, so say I, “it’s time to cut hay!”

Resources mentioned in this post if you’re interested:

See you next time in the journey. Hopefully we’ll have electricity in the garage by then and we can start planning the bread oven. Lots to look forward to.

Hope you are enjoying the Summer!