Posted by Ed S. (IL) on September 26, 2012 at 05:56:57 from (22.214.171.124):
The last cutting of hay is baled and in the barn, and it looks like it's sold already, too. I didn't have a picture of the raked field when I made my last post, so here that is:
I cut on Monday (17th), raked on Saturday (22nd), and on a whim, walked out to check the windrows Monday (24th) when I got home from work - it had been cool, but with a 15-20mph wind blowing all day; the hay felt crispy all the way through, so I lubed up the baler and started baling around 5:00pm.
I kept checking the hay as the sun went down, and things continued to stay dry and crispy (almost no dew settling), so I kept at it and finished drop-baling around 9:00pm. First time I've ever been able to bale at night.
My sons are both working now, so their availability to help is thin (one reason I drop-baled, the other is that I still have my second cut on the racks!).
As I was picking up bales with the truck last night, a couple stopped by and asked if I wanted to sell any of the hay—he does a good bit of hay himself, and didn't have enough to fill his own customer's orders. So it looks like he's going to buy both my second cut as well as most of this third cut (we only needed another 100 or so to cover our animal needs for the winter).
If you've followed my haying posts this summer, you'll remember I reseeded in the spring and have battled bad weeds all year. I had the field sprayed to kill off the foxtail after the second cut, and with the good rains we had the past month, the alfalfa finally woke up, so this third cutting turned out much better than the previous two.
Finally, here's a photo of all the equipment I'm using. The Hesston really makes the cutting a snap, and the 8N gets lighter duty these days with the rake and moving racks around. The AC 190 runs the baler great, and I can operate a bit faster with it, too.
Appreciate everyone's input on the various questions I throw out here from time-to-time - There's always more than one way to skin a cat, and it helps to hear how others have tackled the various issues that pop up.
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