KTNA is celebrating 20 years of broadcasting to the Upper Susitna Valley with audio broadcast during the past two decades. This week’s audio pick is an Earth and Beyond segment, Farmer Al’s Back Forty, from the year 2000, titled Haymaking, Gambling, and the Meaning of Life.
Alan Kingsbury is (so far) still making hay, and he said the last couple years really illustrate the gamble involved. Though one would think last year’s weather was too wet, he baled lots of hay that season, whereas this season, which one might think was good for growing grass, yielded a poor crop.
Last year, he said he wound up with a lot of bales because he just stuck with it, and took advantage of every bit of weather that allowed him to work. This year, the grass got a late start because of the cold spring, and then the hot, dry midsummer caused the grass to go to seed even though it was only 4 to 6 inches high. The poor hay crop this year affected many farmers across the state. Will Farmer Al keep on haying? He won’t say!