Lockhart Cattle Company
spends every July
busy “haying” so their grassfed cows never eat anything but Teton County’s
high-quality grass. “I can’t say haying is my favorite time of year,” says
Chase Lockhart when asked about the ranch. “Stacking enough hay to feed our
cows all winter is hard and stressful work during the hottest month of the
[image: Inline image 1]
The best time to cut hay in Jackson Hole varies from year to year but
usually falls in mid July. To retain as many nutrients as possible, the
fields are cut at full height but just before the grass blooms.
The haying process starts by cutting a pasture and raking the cut grass
into rows where it’s allowed to dry until most of the moisture is removed.
While hay dries it is particularly sensitive to the weather, if cut grass
gets rained on nutrients are leached into the soil. Hay can also spoil or
mold in the field before it’s baled because of rain or excessive heat — and
bad hay can make animals ill.
[image: Inline image 2]
After the grass has dried Lockhart Cattle Company bales hay into large
round bales that weigh 1,400 pounds each. The round bales are carefully
stacked for year-round storage to prevent wetness and spoilage.
[image: Inline image 3]
Sometime around November, when the weather begins to turn and the pastures
are no longer green, the Lockhart Cattle Co. cows return from their summer
pastures to be close to the barn and the hay supply. Throughout the winter
Chase and the ranch employees feed the cows and horses twice per day with
grass that was cut in July.
[image: Inline image 5]
“Despite this year’s hot and dry weather our hay crop is looking good.”
Says Cody Lockhart “and that’s good because when you’re in the grassfed
business you’re only as good as your hay crop.”
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