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Implement Alley Discussion Forum

Mow, rake, baling direction

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mtjohnso

06-01-2020 16:20:05




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My New Holland baler (313) manual says to Always mow, rake and bale in the same direction. Sickle bar mower require clockwise mowing. Baler also clockwise baling at least for old square baler. Since the New Holland 256 rake discharges to the left relative to the tractor seat, I always would rake counterclockwise to keep the hay from being pushed out towards the fence line on first round. Seems that make baling that outer row with the rake going clockwise would cause problems with picking the hay into the baler. What to you do? Which direction do you rake?

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Pig

06-14-2020 04:03:09




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
When making hay, we always have the same issues: wet, soggy fields & outer edges being shaded by trees.

So far, what seems to work well, is:
1) go around the outside once counter clockwise, then
2) clockwise for the rest of the field.

3) use tedder only if needed

4) rake away from outside edge then in rows

The final field before baling would look like picture, despite it not being mowed like that:

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svcummins

06-06-2020 17:02:51




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
Well I cut clockwise with a 7 foot John Deere no,8 and rake it straight with a new Holland no.56 to feed a new Holland d1000 or hesston 4910 or ih 340



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Destroked 450

06-04-2020 12:55:29




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
When I purchased my drum mower it would windrow the hay making it hard to cure so I got a tedder to spread the hay out.

Now it doesn't matter what the hay is cut with, it gets tedded.

Learning how to use and when to use a tedder is key to quality hay or beat to death stems.



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Tx Jim

06-04-2020 10:49:25




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
I'll add I don't own/utilize a tedder so hay lays how it was cut.



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Tx Jim

06-04-2020 10:47:07




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
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Thanks for correction. Sometimes I wonder what causes me have some incorrect thoughts. Yes I know your statement is correct because that the reason after cutting CW I round bale going CCW so my baler pickup teeth touch upper part of plant first.



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Destroked 450

06-04-2020 09:41:18




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
The old bar rakes and balers do a better job of picking up the hay from the tops were each piece of grass helps lift the one laying on top of it, from the bottom "cut end" the machine has to pick up every piece and some of the very bottom hay will be missed.

With todays modern disc mowers laying the hay in the opposite direction one would have to work backwards to achieve the same goal, but with tedders throwing hay in every direction and todays rakes designed to lift and fluff the windrows so that the hay is no longer laying flat on the ground, the old adage of working in one direction is pretty much a thing of the past.

I mow 4 rounds and then take out the back swath, that way should I have to stop cutting and finish up later I don't have a swath of greener hay on the outside round.

From that point I'll lay the field off in sections cutting from the inside out " counter clockwise" and then outside in " clockwise', afterward we ted the hay so it's laying in every direction, no way you could figure out which way each section was cut.

Having grown up looking over my right shoulder at the mower bar, baler pickup, ect, with a bar rake we double every windrow so each one is raked from both directions, I run the v rake counter clockwise so that i'm watching the outside wheels on my right, "just seams natural" until we have 3 windrows around the field giving ample turning room on the ends, from that point I go back and forth making windrows as straight as the field will allow, but this is for round baling were the bales are discharged behind the baler, for square baling if you dropping the bales on the ground clockwise rotation would be your only choice to keep the bales away from the next windrow.

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Leroy

06-04-2020 20:45:43




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to Destroked 450, 06-04-2020 09:41:18  
Never had anything but the old bar rakes and absoulaty no difference with them.



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showcrop

06-04-2020 09:20:58




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
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Destroked has it right, but I will add that in addition to the disc mower pushing it over forward that the discs shoot it out the back bottom first.



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Destroked 450

06-04-2020 08:52:11




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
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When cutting with a sickle mower the hay falls backward off of the bar, a disc mower leans the hay forward before its cut and it falls that way.

There forth sickle cut hay will lay away from the direction the mower is going, disc mowed hay will lay in the direction of travel.



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rvirgil_KS

06-04-2020 07:30:54




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
Baled a lot of hay with small square baler in '50s growing up.

The way I see it, it's like peeling shingles off of a roof. Start at the bottom and peel upward and each layer will lift the one above it. If you start at top and work down you'd have to peel each layer.

I think Leroy is on track, the critical step would be using a conditioner/crimper. Otherwise, as long as the rake will pick up the hay in reverse direction, once in the windrow the baler really doesn't care.

As long as rake and baler get it off the ground, direction usually doesn't matter.

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Tx Jim

06-04-2020 07:23:30




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
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May I ask why you think the plant falls a different direction on modern disc cutter less a conditioner than sickle bar mower??

Cut stalks will be aimed toward direction of travel of cutter on either style unless crop is lodged.

I've noticed hay plant tops seem to be easier to pick up cleaner with my rd baler instead of the cut-off stems of the crop to be baled. Where I notice this is when I rake with my V rake 2 swaths on the top of a undisturbed swath

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MJMJ

06-03-2020 18:47:17




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
Showcrop, it seems like we do things pretty much the same. Somehow this thread got very confusing. To me at least.



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RayP(MI)

06-03-2020 18:20:05




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
I started using a sickle mower, 5 bar rake and a square baler. tried to follow that rule, except the outside windrow, which was rolled inward (opposite,) then rolled out with second round together. Then I started doubling windrows, two swaths. No problems, however I did the combined windrows.

Now I'm using a drum mower which lays the hay backwards compared to the way a sickle lays it down. Again no problems. now I cut most conveniently, rake so I can bale as easily as I can, and don't worry much about which way it is cut or raked. Nice advice,my baler manual says the same thing. I ignore it.

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495man

06-03-2020 16:52:27




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
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I never pay any attention to what direction equipment has gone before...but in general the first cut hay is the first baled hay in a field.

I double all my windrows with a 256 so every windrow has "both" directions in it, alternate "clockwise" and "counterclockwise" if you will to make a windrow.

I square bale and round bale, try to make right turns only square baling due to driveline geometery, but will turn left if needed. Round baler doesn't care left or right.

No issues putting hay in either baler and no one can tell which direction the hay was mowed, tedded, raked, or baled by looking at the field or the bale.

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showcrop

06-03-2020 14:59:43




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
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MJMJ, by every little trick, I am referring to things like mowing in the evening so that the first rays of sun are starting the drying as early as 6:00 AM. Mowing into a narrow swath so that the sun can beat on the bare wet ground for a few hours and then tedding it out to reduce the moisture coming out of the ground. Tedding again after another 6 hours so that maximum air can get into it. Raking as soon as it is 90% dry in order to get it lifted again. giving it two hours between raking and baling. Jumping from baler back to rake to rake the outer 3-5 windrows out of the where the shade is coming over. Here in the Northeast the ground is often so wet that we cannot bale if the hay is in the shade for more than twenty minutes. Perhaps little to none of this applies to you because I don't know where you are making hay, but the way the weather is now this is how we are forced to do it. So far as baling in the same direction as raking, I don't see that as being relevant any more. I have an old "New Holland Hay Makers Handbook" that I studied when I started out over thirty years ago that said to bale in the same direction as you rake, but that was way before rotary rakes. You probably have been making hay longer than I and probably make more and better, but I was just trying to help the guy from what little knowledge I have.

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MJMJ

06-03-2020 11:13:18




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
Well here is your quote:

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That would imply I'm doing something wrong. Or at least in a way that doesn't work for you. I'm just trying to understand what the difference in results is?

I'm starting to wonder if there's a terminology problem here. I just find it hard to believe anyone would insist it's important to bale and mow in the same direction. Parallel to each other yes, but not the same.

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showcrop

06-03-2020 09:21:00




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
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It is simply that everyone else gave some advice while you essentially said don't worry about it, it doesn't matter. I have no idea how you do anything so I couldn't tell you that you are doing anything wrong.



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Bevan

06-03-2020 06:46:28




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
I used to kick two rows together. The rake direction doesn't matter. It doesn't reverse the lay of the hay. The baler and mower follow the original lay of the hay.



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danofarming

06-02-2020 15:36:33




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
Guess I have been doing it wrong all these years. I never pay attention to which way the other implements went.



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MJMJ

06-02-2020 10:44:44




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
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You specifically said I wasn't doing it correctly. So explain what makes it incorrect, and what it will improve for me. I still haven't seen one person explain WHAT changes because of mowing and baling in the same direction. Detailing how you do it and giving
"advice" is pointless if there's no advantage.
I'll add that I'm surrounds by folks that make their living on the farm, and not one of them gives two shyts what direction they're baling.

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showcrop

06-02-2020 09:54:48




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
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It is simply that everyone else gave some advice while you essentially said don't worry about it, it doesn't matter. I have no idea how you do anything so I couldn't tell you that you are doing anything wrong.



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MJMJ

06-02-2020 07:59:53




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
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Exactly what I think is the case here. In the days of nothing more than a sickle bar mower, direction mattered because of the way the hay fell. Hay doesn't fall straight over any more with modern cutters, and it sure as heck isn't laying uniform after running a tedder over it.

Maybe some here still use a sickle mower and it applies. But those days are long past for me.

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Leroy

06-03-2020 09:07:30




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to MJMJ, 06-02-2020 07:59:53  
The only thing that mattered with those mowers was if you were using a pull type stand alone hay conditioner. Nothing else made any difference. That conditioner had to be able to grab the tops of the hay stalk to pull it in, could not grab botton of stalk covered to pull it in.



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MJMJ

06-02-2020 06:44:56




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
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Explain to me what I'm doing wrong and how changing will make things better. I've made a crap ton of hay over the last several decades, and can't think of one issue caused because I didn't rake or bale in the "correct" direction. I'm genuinely curious what you think it would change.



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rrlund

06-02-2020 06:25:15




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
Reading the rest makes me wonder if I'm the only one who cuts in lands instead of cutting around the field? I cut 6 rounds around it,then make a hole up the middle and cut straight back and forth. My wheel rake doesn't make corners so I have to. As far as raking then, it depends on whether the hay was down or not. If it was down and there's ragged stubble, I rake in the direction that it was down and back where the mower slid under it and cut it clean.

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mss3020

06-02-2020 06:58:21




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to rrlund, 06-02-2020 06:25:15  
Agree... I to have a 10 wheel V rake.. combine two or rake two rows at once..So I cut making sure there are two rows side by side..(not always possible) I also make at least 4 outside rows which get raked last after doing the middle back and forth rows..

I sometimes think there are "OLD" timer ways that get past down and with newer equipment, better equipment those may not be true anymore.

Its not brain surgery.. cut it, rake it, bale it when dry...boom....Dont overthink it..geez

I sale 90% of my hay to customers, fortunate that most of my hay is basically sold before I cut year to year as I have 5 main buyers.. I produce good quality bales using the least amount of fuel and time and effort which is $$$ in my pocket..

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Bruce from Can.

06-02-2020 06:56:00




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to rrlund, 06-02-2020 06:25:15  
I cut same as you do Randy, I hate going round and round.



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Leroy

06-03-2020 09:20:52




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to Bruce from Can., 06-02-2020 06:56:00  
When I was still farming it was round and round and if I was still farming that is the way I would still do it. A self propelled unit or a hydra-swing would be only way to go back and forth. And do they even make those in a 9' cut unit. 9' made just correct size for baler and you could not give me any round baler, those do not make any sence to me either. How can you feed them in manger inside of barn? Only place to feed hay.

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rrlund

06-04-2020 05:21:10




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to Leroy, 06-03-2020 09:20:52  
Leroy, I fed round bales in a stanchion barn for over 20 years. Sit them in the feed alley, cut the strings, unroll them and push it in with a fork. I had 22 cows on a side. I could feed off a bale three times. Roll it down one time, back the next and finish it on the third feeding.



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Leroy

06-10-2020 21:17:19




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to rrlund, 06-04-2020 05:21:10  
Bales always in overhead mow, 3' wide manger and not enough room at back end of barn drive to do anymore than drop enough to feed at one time.



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showcrop

06-02-2020 05:34:23




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
Other than mjmj plenty of good advice. I start off mowing clockwise like the others, then I usually do the back-swath after the 4th time around when I have opened up the room to swing around. My rake and tractor are often left in the center when the field is finished. Like others I will start on the 2nd to 5th windrow in depending on the shade on the edges. After baling 6-7 windrows I will sometimes jump back on the rake and rake the outer windrows in to give them another turning and more sun. We used to be able to do it like mjmj, but then the weather got wacky so that you have to employ every little trick to get it dried down before the weather window closes.

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rrlund

06-02-2020 03:50:00




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
I've got a V type wheel rake and it tends to bunch now and then in heavy hay. I just about have to bale the opposite direction that I rake so it catches the tail of the bunch instead of the whole wad at once.



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Farmallb

06-01-2020 19:18:48




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
I always mow clockwise, as that keeps the bar on the inside of the field. IF you mow counter to that, your mowing next to fences, ect. IF you snag your bar on a little trtee that is in front of the fence, and snap a pitman if your lucky or break the sickle if your not, Your through mowing for awhile, if not for the whole day. By mowing clockwise, you keep the bar o n the inside and mow out the field. If, when the field is mown, and you mow counter to that to get the hay near the fence, and then break something by snagging the bar on whatever, at least you go almost all the field mowed.
Raking, I use an old steel wheel JD side rake. I start raking counter clockwise on the first windrow to push it away from the fence/ect. Then I rake clockwise, but I keep the L wheel next to the win
drow already raked. This causes not so much of the full swath to be shoved into the first windrow, and causes the first windrow and what is put in it on the second to be moved from where the first windrow was standing. U see, When you rake a windrow, the rake puts it on grass that hasnt been raked, and can be missed by the baler if he has his teeth set high, but by doing it my way, I move the first windrow and what I put into it on coming back against it over around 3ft from where the first windrow origionally stood, thereby making sure I have it setting on already raked ground. I do this all through the field. 1 full windrow, and one partial windrow raked into it. Course, Im only doing anywhere from 5 to 10 acres. I bale counter clockwise thereby putting the squares away from the edge/fence

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MJMJ

06-01-2020 18:12:14




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
I do what needs to be done to get it done as fast as possible. I pay no attention to which direction and have never had an issue. Cant even think what sort of issue there would be with a square baler.



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c.amick

06-01-2020 19:00:24




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to MJMJ, 06-01-2020 18:12:14  
Rake the first round going counter clockwise, then turn around and go clockwise flipping the windrow you just raked to the outside. Continue raking the field going clockwise, the same direction that you mowed. Here is why you want to do it this way. If you rake your hay toward the center of the field, you roll you windrow on top of hay that is laying flat on the ground. By raking the windrows to the outside, you move all the hay for better drying and it makes it easier for the baler to pick it up.

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Hayfarmer

06-01-2020 17:10:17




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
I try to mow, rake and bale the same direction. That being said it isn't always possible. I use a 9' swather and usually roll a windrow and half together of first cutting, 2 windros together on second. My outer 2 windros are faily close together so generally I start with baling the 3rd windrow in, the opposite way I have raked. If not I have to move too many bales. One thing I have found is that if you rake it up then have to roll it over due to wet ground ALWAYS roll the same direction you raked. I also fluf my hay with fluffer(or tedder) before I bale and I try to go the same way with fluffer that hay was cut and raked. Again not always possible to do it all the same way but for the majority I do.

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Jim.ME

06-01-2020 17:04:01




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 Re: Mow, rake, baling direction in reply to mtjohnso, 06-01-2020 16:20:05  
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This is how we do it. Outer row (back swatch) rakes into the field going counter clockwise. Then turn and go clockwise picking up new hay with at least 2/3the rake and roll in to the outside windrow combining them. Rake the rest of the field clockwise. Start baling clockwise on the second windrow in, not the outside one. After clearing several windrows going clockwise (or after the rest of the field is done), do the outside windrow going counterclockwise. Leaving the outside windrow to last, like mowing, is best if the hay is questionable as to material that might get picked up along the fence/wood line. Sometimes you have to go the opposite way.

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