The Useful Duck!

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Things get done and some hay is baled

My hay is not as bad a failure as I thought. It is actually pretty nice, just not perfect-which is what it takes. I should have taken some photos for the non-farm readers as I am in a bit of a hurry and will be short on explaining details.
My sometimes a great helper was having problems with his baler. He has a little Hesston 7115 baler. It is an almost new 14x18 sized baler and it was breaking shear pins like crazy. He was baling grass that had been swathed for seed but had weeds in it and the farmer wanted it for hay. The farmer would not rake it and so there were wet spots all through it, even though it has been over 80 degrees.
I was on my way to work on our 2-tie baler myself when I talked to him. Our is a rather old Freeman 200 which makes 16x18 bales. (Our main baler is a 3 tie Hesston 7140 which is an awesome baler but we are making bales for the horse hay market and there is so much hay on the market this year I am going back to small bales to get a marketing edge.)
I just decided to go  fix his baler as he sounded a bit desperate on the phone. I got to the field before him and called a service department to get some advice. It was pretty straightforward, I re-timed it. Of course I thought I went the wrong direction the first time and had to redo it, only to find out I had done it right in the first time. (I had it re-tarded instead of advanced which I guess makes me retarded...)
The farmer showed up and was convinced it was the dull knives. He used a detailed analogy of using a sharp knife to cut a tomato vs using a 2x4. Then he went off on swathing and how he changes his guards every year and the sickle sections every 50 acres. Which was pretty funny considering we were standing in the middle of a pretty ragged looking field. I guess he must have missed a section or 20.
The baler worked and off I went. I fixed our Freeman 200 and then moved on to bale hay with the 3 tie baler at the next field. I forgot my sun screen. I had the trusty old M670 super on the Hesston 7140. That was a picture for the AGCO family farm website...
The employee was finishing mowing a field and then he took the mower to the next field and brought the 2 tie baler back.
I finished 20 acre field and switched the rake.
It didn't work. It is an old Allen V-rake. It puts two windrows together. It has electric solenoid valves to spread it out and to turn on the rotating baskets that pickup the hay. One of the solenoids burnt up and nearly set the field on fire. I sort of wired around it but then I had to run the hydraulics backwards and it wouldn't work with the wimpy old M670 hydraulics. It worked very nice on the 2-135 white.
We were putting two windrows together. Since we have a 12ft mower this means a 24foot swath. That is a lot of hay at 2.5 tons per acre. I had just finished the field when my sometimes helper showed up with his little Hesston. "I came to help you out," he said with a big grin until he saw the size of the windrows. Then he said "s...!!!"
He gave it a try. Now that would have made another good photo for the AGCO website. I don't think that little baler was designed for that size of a windrow. It chewed right through it. He was in low, low, gear. Perhaps 1 mph or slower. It will be nice for stacking.
It will be a bit odd to have 3 tie and little 2 tie bales in the same field. He baled 310 70lb bales and I baled 300 110lb bales out of a 12 acre field. So 11 ton for him an 16 ton for me for a total of 2.3 tonnes per acre. Not too bad a yield for this sort of grass hay. Not enough to make much money on it. Now it needs to be stacked...
On the way home I came back into cell service. My wife's pickup is stranded. A brake locked up. I must go get it right now. Have a nice day...

1 comment:

  1. Budde, what type of grass was that? I'm guessing Tall Fescue. Are you seeing many grass seed fields being taken for hay? There are a few around here. We hayed part of a field that was foul with hairy chess. Too bad you can't use atrazine on fescue anymore!

    I've got some good photo opportunities for the Agco site too...and some they wouldn't be so proud of.


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