The Rocker 7 Difference

Your options for purchasing high quality wholesale alfalfa may be plentiful, so what differentiates Rocker 7 Farms?

Brandon likes to tell people, “There are plenty of guys who can bale good hay in Arizona.” And it’s true. Our soils, climate and conditions lend themselves to making good hay, as long as a farmer is paying attention to all the variables and baling at the right time each night. More and more growers are adding baler scales and moisture meters, which provide a constant stream of information about each bale as it exits the baler.

So where do we have an edge?

Well, that lies in what we call “sorting”.

Which is why Brandon spends a lot of time with each customer discussing their definition of “good hay,” since we have definitely learned over the years this differs with each person. Some customers focus on leaf retention in the bale; others are most concerned with stem size. If you asked each person which quality factor they would prefer to “give a little” on, you would receive a lot of different answers. But a big part of keeping customers happy is knowing what those things are for each person, and doing our best to deliver the hay that particular customer has in mind.

And that’s our edge.

Knowing customers, sorting all our hay appropriately, and sending the right hay to the right customer.

This means that all the hay we grow or decide to inventory from a neighbor is evaluated for each quality characteristic, and stored in a certain section of one of our four barns, to keep everything sorted and ensure each customer gets the right kind of hay. We even have some mornings during baling where Brandon calls a certain customer because he just knows he baled up a load they would like and wants to get it to them.

Why is sorting so important to us?

We only sell as much hay as our customers do. So if we are selling to a retailer (feed store, etc.), we want to make sure they are getting the kind of hay their customers like to buy. And in the more rare cases where we sell directly to an end-user, we realize the investment they are making in their out-of-state purchase, and want to ensure they (and their animals) are happy with the product we send. Our goal is always longevity with our customer base, and we feel like strong communication on expectations in the beginning, combined with our in-depth sorting process sets us all up for success.

The hay business is our family business – we are growing, baling and marketing our own hay, then spend additional time seeking out certain types of hay to keep our full customer base supplied year-round.

 

A new iron in the fire

Rocker 7 Farm Patch LogoFor years, we have longed to have a portion of our farm designated to open up to the public. This fall, we are finally getting to do that with Rocker 7 Farm Patch.

We’re hosting a full fall festival complete with a pumpkin patch, corn maze, sunflower field, hayrides, and lots of entertainment and games to keep the whole family happy. During the week, we’ll also have engaging educational opportunities for school groups that include a curriculum-based lesson delivered by a certified Arizona educator.

We are thrilled to finally offer all of this to the far west valley, in a convenient, yet still rural location. We hope to see you this fall, and be sure to follow along with us on Facebook in the meantime.

How do you farm in the desert?

Now that’s certainly a good question. And to be honest, it’s not easy.

In fact, after one long, hard day at work, I asked Brandon, “Is it this hard to farm everywhere in this country?”

He asked back, “Well, what did we do all day that made today so hard?”

I responded, “Irrigated.”

He said, “Well, I guess that answers your question. Dryland farms don’t have to irrigate, and irrigating is 90 percent of what we do. And irrigating isn’t as difficult when you use other systems, like pivots.”

Don’t get me wrong. I would never tell any farmer he had an easy job. But I do know ours would be a bit easier if we weren’t constantly having to irrigate our crops, and especially if our method of irrigation were something other than the canal- or well-fed flood irrigation system. But for now, it is.

All of our fields are located within the Roosevelt Irrigation District, so we pay them for every drop of water that goes on a crop, in exchange for use of their elaborate canal system, which is the only way for us to access water. That is, unless we wanted to dig a bunch of wells and pay to pump our own water. Not only is that an expensive option, it’s not really even an option in our case, since most of the ground available is leased.

Anyway, back to farming in the desert.

Some of our fields have ditches with “port holes”. We plant these fields in “borders” and each border gets watered by opening its respective ports to let water from the ditch flood the border. Depending on the size of the border and how much water we’re running in the ditch, we’ll move the water to a new border (through a system of “checks” placed in the ditch, opening new ports and closing the current ones) every one to four hours, or so.

Other fields do not have these “ports” or are growing crops which require to be planted in rows. In these cases, “siphon tubes” are used to siphon water from the ditch into the field.

Other than the irrigating, which can be tough work some days, farming in the desert is just like farming in other parts of the country. And often, we feel like we have an advantage with our weather pattern. If there’s anything a farmer can’t control, it’s the weather, but living in the desert, where it’s hot and sunny 360 days each year, you virtually have control over the weather risk factor.

Until a summer monsoon rains all over freshly cut hay, anyway.

Welcome to Rocker 7 Farms

Welcome to Rocker 7 Farms, a diversified Arizona family farm operation.

We’re glad you stopped by.

If you’re looking for hay, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got quite the selection to provide the precise intersection of quality and price you’re looking for.

You can learn more about what we grow, take a look at some cattle or get to know us. And if there’s a question we don’t answer here, never hesitate to get in touch.

We sure hope to hear from you soon, or better yet, see you down the road!