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Using Your Tractor & Crop Talk

Discussion Board - Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay?

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Bill VA

08-12-2014 14:44:10
76.3.243.86



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Going to make a run at baling some hay over the upcoming Labor Day Weekend and we've got a sickle bar mower, rake and baler. The only piece we don't have is a tedder. I'm on the look out for one, but what I've seen thus far isn't very good for the asking price - probably be better off buying a new one.

So it is very likely we will attempt to cut/rake/bale without a tedder. I know it's almost taboo not to condition hay these days, but back in the day I don't know that anyone around my neck of the woods conditioned hay other than giving it a second roll with a hay rake.

Question is - anyone NOT conditioning their hay? What is your cut to bale time line? Cut, let it lay for 2 or 3 days or more, rake and bale?

Thanks!
Bill

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donjr

08-27-2014 20:00:59
71.246.78.72



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
I wasn't really gonna get into this, but I guess I want to because I've read so many dumb remarks. First off, realize I have been putting hay up in Northern Maryland (read humidity and an unreliable weather forecast) while working an outside job for thirty years and the last fifteen years with plenty of time and acreage to cover.

I started with a 3 point MF mower and moved up to a JD side mount with a crimper behind. In long hay like Orchardgrass, the crimper would wrap every other round, so I bought a NI haybine after using my cousin's rig. It was a step up to a 1207 Deere because it would follow uneven ground better. But, it could still take three days to dry in humid weather, and there were still tough spots. That, and the weather idiot would call for some nice weather one day, and it would rain before I could get the hay up. Some of that was due to my having to work, but I still had to throw a good bit into the woods. I have had a discbine for 22 years now and am on my second one.

I bought my first tedder, an older bar style Grimm,about 25 years ago. I didn't always use it, but it was there. Bit, I traded it in when I bought a NH rake-tedder. The machine did both jobs adequately, but wasn't the beast at both, and had a tendency to break down when I had a lot of hay cut. It was sold when I bought a carted 12 wheel rake and a Pequea TT4000 tedder from a young guy down the road whose wife told him he couldn't afford a new baby and the payment on the tedder on 20 acres of hay, so I got it for what he owed on it.

Today, I do about 150 acres of orchardgrass in three cuttings and alfalfa in about 4 cuttings. My new discbine is a flail conditioner, and works great in grass and good in alfalfa. But, I cut in the morning, and tedd in the afternoon. Reason being, hay dries almost fifty percent in the first hour or two after it's cut. I cut about a four to five foot wide swath, then tedd as soon as I can. The hay is turned over in tedding, and when you use one, it should never be run as fast as your tractor can go. The rpm's are always at 1500 or less- just enough to pitch the hay over and spread it. If it's a heavier first cutting, I may wait until the next morning to tedd it, but it does get tedded. Lighter cuts, tedding after it's cut and it may be ready the next day to rake in the early afternoon, and dry enough, even with high humidity, to bale later in the afternoon. The crop doesn't get as much of a chance to sun bleach, and looks much better going into the barn.

Sorry if this is long, but a good tedder is one of the cheapest forms of getting consistantly good hay. Hay is not a high value crop like corn or beans, but it can make money with less investment. A discbine and tedder may cost a few grand for a few years, but will make great money for many more. I figure the tedder I have costs me about $4-500 a year, but saves me much more than that in making a premium hay. The discbine's cost (mine was new) costs me maybe $1000 a year over it's life, and like the tedder, makes great hay in less time by decreasing weather exposure. My cost is about 30 bales of hay a year to own them, so that makes them cheap tools. Like I said, sorry about the length of this, but hay is part of my living now- and there is a right way and a wrong way to put up hay. It's much easier to put it up right......

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Dave H (MI)

08-18-2014 19:40:13
50.108.117.135



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
So if I understand correctly, you are asking who teds their hay and not who conditions their hay? As explained below...different things. Either way...never tedded hay. Don't even own a tedder. Sometimes I run the mower conditioner and sometimes I just run a sickle thru it. Kind of depends on what I am cutting, weather, size of field. This year I had to fit it in between raindrips so I ran the conditioner and took it off a day early. With a sickle it is mow on afternoon A, let lie thru B and C, and bale in the aftenoon of day D.

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Bret4207

08-18-2014 05:04:28
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
Like I said, if you live someplace where you don't need a tedder, then owning one seems kinda dumb. OTOH, you live here and you can find tedders that have been in use for 60-70 years and still get used today. Some areas you NEED a tedder, some you don't. Alfalfa doesn't grow worth a snot here, some place it grows great. I don't bad mouth those that use different tools because they have alfalfa. If you tried baling after the dew sets here you'd get moldy hay every time.

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redforlife

08-17-2014 14:15:52
68.234.121.124



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
I am in a fairly hot dry climent. Don't use a tedder at all. I put up grass hay and alfalfa. Grass hay I cut one day, and can ussually rake and bale the next. Alfalfa I ussually do a little different to save leaves. Cut one day, let dry to a point of when you can bale it, then I ussually rake it during the evening, morning, or at night when it is tuff to not loose leaves. Bale it in the same manner. I wouldn't need the use of a tedder but you might if you are in an area with a wet climent, heavy dews, alot of rainfalls.

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mab570diesel

08-17-2014 04:29:05
76.6.166.90



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Tx Jim, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
Old,I agree but,my weather dictates you use haybine, tedder and whatever else you can think of to get it dry enough in time.



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mab570diesel

08-16-2014 18:27:15
76.6.166.90



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to GordoSD, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see+1 on that.IT is a good tool to have in your arsenal once you use one I doubt you would want to be without one.In my experience it cuts a day off dry time.Tedder.



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old

08-16-2014 21:07:19
209.86.226.60



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to mab570diesel, 08-16-2014 18:27:15  
Been doing hay since I was a whole lot younger and have NEVER used one. All depends on where you are and weather conditions etc etc. Shoot I have a haybine and have not used it in 2 years due to the weather and not needing it



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Bret4207

08-16-2014 05:04:04
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
Where a tedder comes in is where you have country that doesn't dry out fast, heavy hay and not a lot of time between rain and real heavy dews. Our heavy dews will take a nice fluffy windrow and mash it down into the ground. The ground is clay and water doesn't soak in very fast. Our hay crops tend to be heavy, at least first cut. And a year like this or last year with lots of rain, a tedder can be a life saver.

I just busted my tedder, again, and am finding that I can turn my swath from the moco more or less 180 degrees onto drier ground. No where near as good as a tedder, but better than roping it together with the old IHC 14 rake.
Those who've never needed a tedder, count your blessings.

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samson

08-16-2014 17:32:01
70.198.32.217



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bret4207, 08-16-2014 05:04:04  
can you post a picture as nobodt use's them here



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bg/mo

08-15-2014 18:08:52
166.217.213.107



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
temps in the 90"s to 100"s you wont need a tedder, the moco will usually nock a day off the drying time,IF conditions are good. A tedder will help also IF conditions are good,,, cloudy damp cool days you can beat it to death and it wont dry.We used to cut alot of hay with a sickle mower and no tedder , let it dry and bale.Your weather is going to be you factor in how long it takes to dry.



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JEH

08-15-2014 17:46:19
184.18.122.204



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
If someone is loosing leaves from alfalfa by tedding they are not using the tedder correctly. You tedd when alfalfa is still green! I think it cuts your drying time by 1 day, with great hay if used properly



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JEH

08-15-2014 17:44:37
184.18.122.204



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
I.
This post was edited by JEH at 17:48:29 08/15/14.



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rankrank1

08-13-2014 19:39:10
198.228.228.168



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
To elaborate on my "making hay the John Deere way" 1st post. I have personally only used 2 tools to cut hay so far over the past several years. I started out using a square back bushog. The bushhog did offer some conditioning, but not as much as conditioning as the Hesston Mower conditioner that I use now.

Regardless, of what I used to cut the hay: The only thing that changed is when I did the first raking. Actually even now when I use the Hesston Moco the timeline on when I rake the first time depends on the weather,humidity, and hay crop as it is different every haying so it is different every time.

When the hay goes totally flat on the ground so little to no air is getting underneath, and the top is totally dry and starting to bleach from the sun, or even if it just smells damp and bad underneath then that is a definite sign for me to rake it in a loose fluffy windrow when any one of these 3 scenarios occurs . Then I simply flippy the windrows as many times as needed with the 594 rake from the there.
This post was edited by rankrank1 at 19:41:55 08/13/14.

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Bill VA

08-13-2014 10:03:58
76.3.243.86



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
Thanks everyone for your replies! Interesting to hear these responses.

I think ultimately in my neck of the woods, given the potential for late evening thunderstorms and high humidity AND the fact I've got a day job and time is somewhat limited, we will probably wind-up with a tedder. I should think the ideal setup for us would ultimately be a haybine and a tedder too.

Unless a tedder falls in my lap in the next few weeks, we'll be going at it without one.

Thanks!
Bill

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kyhayman

08-17-2014 08:34:36
72.173.48.155



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-13-2014 10:03:58  
I run both a discbine and a tedder, sometimes it still isnt enough. But, with that said, we also run straight disc mowers and sometimes ted, sometimes not. As business has grown, I've got 3 mowers on the road, and only 2 tedders, which I dont like to run up and down the highway. They live a hard life as it is.

1st cutting grass hay, burnt up red clover, and some weeds and white clover in it, first week of August. Cut with a regular disc mower, raked the next day, baled the next. Other places, not unheard of to cut one day, let lay the next, rake the next, then flip and bale in 2 hours the next. I've put up a lot of good hay without either the haybine or the tedder that way.

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hayray

08-15-2014 05:29:20
174.150.38.210



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-13-2014 10:03:58  
I put up over 600 tons of hay a year and have never used a tedder. Timing of when to cut in relation to the weather is far more important then tedding. My neighbors who use tedders maybe get a hour head start on my baling but the biomass loss on their hay is pretty high, bales are all sticks and no leaf.



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Bill Va

08-15-2014 08:20:00
216.24.79.193



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to hayray, 08-15-2014 05:29:20  
The leaf loss is one of the things I've pondered about when tedding, crimping and just moving the hay around. I know it's necessary - but at what cost? On one hand, the quality of the hay IMHO suffers to some extent with movement and leaf loss, but on the other hand, I'm thinking - better to have some leaf loss than loose a whole crop to a rain.

One thing that get's tossed around is - leaf loss. Question is - I understand it is a larger problem with alfalfa and clover, but what about orchard grass, fescue and timothy - grass hay? What is there to knock off on these grasses with a tedder?

Thanks for the reply! We'll see how it goes this time around. I hope I can report back with a few pics of bales in a few weeks and have a good sense going into winter and next Spring where I stand with my equipment.

Bill

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old

08-13-2014 21:09:15
209.86.226.60



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-13-2014 10:03:58  
Up till the year 2000 I had a full time job and then some plus baled my hay and have not used a tedder ever. I did get lucky to find a NH460 haybine back in say 1998 or so but up till then did all my hay with a sickle bar mower a rake and a baler and did that since July of 1980



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randallinMo

08-13-2014 07:06:49
216.74.205.155



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
Bill, I think it is "totally" weather related. If you have dry, low humidity conditions, you can very easily put up dry hay without a conditioner. 'Usually within two to three days. Here in Missouri our conditions are usualy humid which conditioning of the hay really helps. I've cut alfalfa on certain days and was able to bale it the next day. That was/is the exception and seldom happens. Generally, I'd say that conditioning of the hay greatly improves the drying process. You'll just have to try it with what you've got. If you get it baled up nicely without conditioning, you'll tell yourself "I didn't need to condition it". If you have trouble getting it to dry, you will wish you had a conditioner. It's that simple.

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hayray

08-13-2014 03:54:41
173.159.59.203



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
Northvale is correct. Conditioning is the term used for a mower/conditioner that has conditioning roles or flail conditioners drums that crimp the stem of the hay or wipe the waxing coating off of the stem so drying occurs faster. Conditioning is used in areas that are humid while just using a mower like a sickle bar with no conditioning is used in arid areas with low humidity that hay drys easily. Like others mentioned, using a tedder is not referred to as conditioning but is used in addition to conditioning and cutting.

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Northvale - PA

08-13-2014 02:11:58
24.112.144.89



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
Conditioning hay is normally done using a haybine or discbine with crushing rolls, which split the stems so the hay can dry faster. Tedding hay fluffs it up to dry faster. Here in SE PA, high humidity requires both. Plus, there are normally wet clumps until the hay is raked up.



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Jim Phelps

08-13-2014 00:30:59
214.27.58.36



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
My father baled 50,000 square bales a year and never had a tedder. I see several in the area now using them, but most don"t.



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dmiller

08-12-2014 20:27:25
162.253.12.150



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
Obviously if you own a tedder your not in the same environment I am. 6 years ago I started with a sickle mower,rake and a baler. We typically have weeks on end of upper 80's low 90's with no rain, very low humidity.
I was cutting, then next afternoon raking together (grass) and baling that same evening. 24-36 hours no conditioner. In our environment I think it actually dries faster laid out like that than in a thick windrow from a swather. Just can't cut very fast and can't cover enough acres that way.

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rankrank1

08-12-2014 20:08:56
198.228.228.167



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
Well a lot will depend on the hay rake model you have (as well as what type of hay as well as your climate).

Some hay rakes are known rope makers. The hay will not dry well in that type of tight windrow and this type of rake is typically only used right before baling for that reason alone. Raking things up too soon with a rake like this can be a bad thing.

Some of the really old vintage rakes were known to make loose fluffy windrows. Read the John Deere 594 hay rake owners manual some time if you get a chance. John Deere calls it putting up hay the John Deere way. Basically you put the hay in a loose fluffy windrow early in the dry down process, The hay being in a loose fluffy windrow still allows the hay to dry as air circulates through it freely but also really helps with color retention and preventing bleaching. Course you often have to use just the end of the rake to flip the windrow over like a pancake 2nd time (or in other words to invert the windrow).

Yeah it is another trip over the field when you rake twice, but really that is no different than tedding and then raking. Either way it is 2 trips over the field to 2 trips over the field (pretty much equal).
I do not have a functioning tedder yet either. I rake with my JD 594 rake sooner than many would rake. I find it really helps my drying time doing this as well as the hay smell. Leaving it lay even in a wide swath is beneficial up to the point where the has dried down to the point of laying flat on the ground. Then what is getting exposed to the sun starts to get bleached, and everything underneath is still damp and can even start to smell bad as no air circulation underneath either. Rake into a loose fluffy windrow and it gets air. Flipping a 2nd time is almost certainly going to be needed and guaranteed. Sometimes I will even flip a 3rd if I am really desperate to get it dry in least amount of time.
Regardless, my hay always smells wonderful. Every haying is different, and I do what I have to do to put up the the best hay that I can under the circumstance at hand.
This post was edited by rankrank1 at 20:11:53 08/12/14.

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Bill VA

08-13-2014 10:07:37
76.3.243.86



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to rankrank1, 08-12-2014 20:08:56  
Thanks for the response. I have a 3 pt mounted JD350 rake with a manual and found a manual for the 594 online. The reference to "Making Hay the John Deere Way" in both manuals are identical - so if moisture is a problem, I'll give turning the wind row per the manual a try.

Thanks again for the tip.

Bill



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old

08-12-2014 19:21:13
209.86.226.58



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  
Tedder what the heck is that. Yes I do know but I have done hay now for 34 plus years and use a sickle bar mower most of the time and a rake and then bale. Never had any problems. I do on wet year use a moco to cut with but have not used it in 2 or 3 years due to dry weather



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KEH

08-12-2014 17:51:23
67.231.175.190



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Bill VA, 08-12-2014 14:44:10  

I have a tedder but don't always use it. It depends on how dry the weather is, how thick the hay is, and what kind of hay it is.

KEH



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Mac AR

08-12-2014 19:06:59
184.156.232.74



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to KEH, 08-12-2014 17:51:23  
Never had a fluffer/tedder to use. I have turned windrows with a side delivery rake, however. I can't justify the extra expense of a piece of machinery that would only get used maybe(?) once per year. Just my 2 shillings worth.

Mac



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j hikemper

08-14-2014 05:41:05
50.102.13.227



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 Re: Who Does NOT Condition Their Hay? in reply to Mac AR, 08-12-2014 19:06:59  
this yr, cut nearly 150 acres with old mf 41 mower,489 nh gearbox went bad ,it takes extra day to get a good dry bale ..



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