A much slower disappearance has been going on for decades in Idaho. Something often taller than powerlines has been disappearing, one farm at a time until they’re all but gone. Hay derricks.
These crane-like contraptions were work savers for farmers when stacking hay, maybe for a hundred years. They stood like lonely sentinels in hay yards on the edge of fields all over Southern Idaho. They were often considered artifacts of Mormon folklife along with the ubiquitous plantings of Lombardy poplars as windbreaks.
Hay derricks were one of the few large pieces of farm equipment that was nearly always homemade. Most farmers didn’t bother sending away somewhere for plans. They just took a little trip to their neighbor’s hay yard and sketched out a plan for something like they saw there. That is, unless they could just borrow their neighbor’s derrick. They were movable, sometimes on skids and sometimes with attached wheels.
Today’s farmers are more likely to put up hay with a sophisticated bailer that churns out 1,000-pound round bales. There are not a lot of loose hay stacks still in existence, so the old derricks have been rotting away to nothing.
I could try to explain just how they work, but couldn’t do a better job than this video on a Library of Congress website.