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Monday, June 14, 2010

To cut hay or not to cut hay, that is the question...

We have good weather at last. It started Friday and Saturday it was in the upper 70's with a warm breeze. Folks are cutting hay like there is no tomorrow. To cut or not to cut is the question.
We could have three weeks of silage chopping left. The grass field we are going to cut is still very soft. I mowed clover and alfalfa. (30 acres worth) The ground was wet enough that I left tracks. The question is if the hay will actually dry. I don't have to worry about it getting dry as it will be chopped into silage in a couple days.
I think I would wait a couple days for the ground to dry out. In our part of the world we get heavy dew and that coupled with wet ground means the hay will be very slow to dry. The worst problem is moisture which collects in the stem. The hay appears dry. If you grab a  handful and twist it three times it will break. But, if you take your thumbnail peel back the skin around the joints you will find they are still green.
We also have a moisture tester which measures the moisture in the bale chamber of the baler. Because of the extreme pressure on the sensor it will pick up moisture which a regular stab-in-the-bale sensor does not pickup. Most folks won't buy the sensor so they will happily bale hay that is too wet. This will not show up till later so they will get the hay off the field quickly.
So, I'm not cutting hay.
I am trying to rationalize why I am not cutting hay. I hope I have done a good job. Of course this means I will be still baling hay somewhere around the middle of July. I think over-ripe hay is easier to sell than moldy hay. Who knows? I've probably done the wrong thing...
Some photos...
I mowed Saturday. I have a hard time with the hydroswing Hesston diskmower. I just can't get the hang of the thing swinging to the other side of the tractor when cutting back and forth. Plus, I was in a bit of a hurry. Things happen fast at 7.5 mph!


  1. Swing or no swing, that diskmower looks downright fun to a fellow whose only partners at the hay dance were decrepit sickle bar mowers who were always losing their teeth, side delivery rakes from the early days of tractor drawn implements and a brief fling with 1950's Allis-Chalmers roto-baler.

  2. The disk mower is amazing! No sickles no guards,it hardly ever plugs up, it cuts thought almost anything. But it has some incredible failures with parts flying through the air expensive repair bills.
    Of course someone did run a harrow halfway through it...


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