The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Baling Alfalfa and life on the farm in General...

It is supposed to be 97 degrees today. Later in the week we expect showers.
My daughter has been helping me.
We have been trading off between running the rake and the baler.
I thought it would be a good idea to bale 2000 bales of annual ryegrass straw in 2-tie bales. This was based on the interest of a buyer. I called a friend who also bales straw for erosion control. He said to get 40% down.
I didn't.
I stopped at 1650 bales. I suspect this is not going to work out so well.

My daughter baled most of them.
Baling is mind numbingly boring. I keep going to sleep.
This is the small baler (BC5070)

This is the three-tie baler, (Hesston 4690)

I'd rather run the rake although the rake tractor is the M670 super with no cab or A/C.

We then switched to three-tie bales for the rest. The choice is the potential for $80 per ton in two-tie or the assurance of $45 per ton in three-tie.

Lulu has been getting lectures on baling alfalfa. The alfalfa has been a problem. 

The mower with the crimper died so we used the swather to cut it and then used our very old Cunningham hay conditioner to crimp it.
The infamous Cunningham Hay Conditioner

It was still in a tight windrow and drawing moisture from the ground so I tedded part of it. This mixes up the bleached material with the green underneath.

I let it set a day and then rake individual windrows to get airflow under the windrow.
My new to me, but rather ancient dual windrow raker-New Holland doesn't make this setup any more!
It is quite hot during the day but at night there is such a heavy dew that it bleaches the alfalfa white.
Alfalfa is ready when you can't peel the stem back with your thumbnail.

We baled it at 1 a.m. Lulu wanted to work at night anyway.
We started baling with 14% moisture one side of the field and 8% on the other. The 8% side was pretty weedy and thin.

I had Lulu running the double rake right ahead of the baler.
This is what was left the next morning
By 1:30 a.m. the moisture was just about right. A good 18% and no leaf shatter on the good side of the field and 14% on the bad side. At 1:45 a.m. the moisture went to 18% on the bad side and 22% on the good side. So we quit.
Saturday Lulu had chores to do at home and I finished up.

I leave you with the universal symbol of racism...


  1. Oh how I wish I had a baler that could make the job boring. My old Massey keeps me jumping out of the cab every few minutes to re-arrange the bales that land crooked on the stacker. Or pull a broken knot off the bill hook. Good exercise I guess but more than I need.

    1. Be glad you are not paying for a baler that makes your job boring. I don't know how I would pay for a brand new one!

  2. I'm glad Lulu is getting the experience.

  3. Now that's a kewl Tedder/Rake combo. Never seen one of them before but it would be nice to have.

  4. hey was it your birthday!?! happy birthday!


Please leave a comment even if you are bored or don't agree with me...

Please leave comments! It is really easy!

You just type your comment in the text box below the post. You can be anyone you want.
And...Would the joker who keeps clicking "offensive" please leave an explanation ?!