Weather rarely cooperates in farming. Last years hay season was no exception. Most years we are able to put up enough forage to feed the Highlands through winter, but this year we were not even close. A summer with very few hot dry days prevented the hay equipment from getting into the field. Our only option was purchasing hay to feed.
The first batch of purchased hay I thought was a good deal. Turns out it was just cheap. I have slowly learned that with farming a good deal and cheap are two different options. Cheap hay has very little nutritional value so the calves and cows lose valuable weight over winter and don't have the extra energy needed during calving season.
The second batch of hay I bought was more expensive, but a better deal. It looks green and smells fresh. It is hard to describe the look and smell of quality hay, but you know it when you see it. My cattle should gain weight going into spring.
When dropping off the first batch of the new hay the cattle seemed content. Content cattle stay in fences, look healthy, and have nice calves. Content cattle make for content farmers.