Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hay is over with

I finally decided today to stop bringing up van loads of imported hay.

I feel really bad about this, because the hay is absolutely the best that can be found in state, and plenty of people love it. Not to mention it's way cheaper than the feed stores here, which only sell by bale on an "average".

So why would I stop?

Because people promise they will buy hay, then don't show. Don't answer emails or phone calls. Or when I do speak to them days later, it's just too inconvenient to come get it this week or that day, have to wait. Or, they found "other hay".....but of course could not be bothered to let me know this.

One previous good friend suggested quite strongly that I should not make a dime off the hay.

Sorry, I can't do that.

I now have to pay for the time on the forklift. I buy propane for the forklift too. I pay for the ads. I pay to ship the ropes back. I run the risk and expenses when checks bounce (and they have) I also spend at least 20 hours per van, on the phone. I pay for the long distance calls, which are quite a few. I give up as many as ten or more hours on weekends, waiting for no shows who don't think it's necessary to call and let me know they "got busy" or were "too broke" to get the hay they begged for and just had to have last month.

I am tired of being treated like a feed store-the whole point was to be cheaper than the feed store for higher quality hays-which I have managed to do. I still want the hay, but prefer not to drive to Anchorage to get it-so I think I will keep a sizeable pile off of this van, and let those few folks know who have expressed interest in just splitting vans directly. Those folks understand buying multiple tons, and have the resources and storage for it too.

My hub says I don't charge enough, and that I should just keep ordering vans, people will need it. I am not so confident....someone who haunts Craigslist, must have it in for me because the posts get flagged fairly quickly. I could give in, and just charge $15 a bale, but truthfully that is not fair-the bales are not a uniform weight and the whole point of doing the hay this way, was so that people would know exactly how much they paid for since it is done by pound.

This means that the 40 foot container alongside my shop that we used for extra storage will get sold. Which means the vans will have to come to my residence instead-a not very convenient location for anyone except myself.

Well so what? When they are wincing buying stemmy over mature hay from WA state in the feedstores, I won't feel the least little bit sorry for them.


Lori said...

Sorry to hear this, but, you gotta do
do what you gotta do. This seems to be one of the main problems when bringing up van loads of hay from the L48. The person who has stuck their neck out to make it possible gets their head chopped off after awhile.
Can't win for loosing.
Folks will be screaming come fall I'm sure.

Thanks for hanging in there as long as you could.

suvalley said...

It just leaves me scrambling to get another four or five tons home is all....space is always at a premium at my place.

I think I can unload this one to a few customers, based on how long it will be for another van.

Cedar View Paint Horses said...

This whole "ordering a container of hay" is so foreign to me. I haul my wagon 1/2 mile, fill it, pay the guy, and haul it home. I'm thankful to have a reliable source of quality hay.

suvalley said...

Hahaha, more like 3500 miles for this hay! (Well not exactly sure of mileage but it's a good long ways between Oregon and here ;))

As it happens the hay supplier called yesterday....he had been at the press, working on a load to be shipped. He ran into some hay that was no good...so he carefully checked it over. It was all no good, so that takes about 150 tons that would have otherwise been available to Alaskans. It was sold on to someone else right away of course.

Aside from what I have here, he has exactly ONE other containers' worth of hay to spare between now and new harvest.

Keep your fingers crossed that he gets a good one-he did inform me that there will be 15 to 20% less hay produced in the Pacific Northwest this coming season, due to farmers moving to other crops. The primary reason is biofuels and hay lands being put into soybeans and wheat, etc.

Ouch ouch ouch, don't even want to think what the price of hay will be this winter :(

Cedar View Paint Horses said...

My hay guy only has 12 acres that he harvests. He's semi retired and just does this out of habit and for a source of beer money. He gets about 4000 50 lb. bales off that 12 acres, and that's only two balings. More than enough for me. I'm down to maybe a month's supply left, so I should take my wagon over there this weekend. I've got a sweet thing going on. Better remember to get him another GC for his fav restaurant again.