- June 16, 2015 at 9:43 am #85652Livewater FarmParticipant
wondering how other folks are doing with first cutting hay
here in southern vermont lack of rain during May has hurt the crop
fields are thin with bare spots thru out
I personally am down 50% others I have talked with say 50 to 60% down
the rain now will help with 2nd cutting
pastures which would rebound in 15 20 days this time of year have been slow in recovering also
I have let some of my hay customers go for lack of hay
how are others doing
BillJune 16, 2015 at 4:00 pm #85654
We haven’t cut a single stem, and it’s killing me. We had the drought here early as well then what rain we got the grass really recovered nicely. Now it is course and going by and I cant get on the field with the forecasts. Rain every other day or so.
Hoping things improve quickly, but next week looks worse than this one. I just cant take a chance on ruining a crop with a 40% chance of showers forecasted every other day.
EDJune 16, 2015 at 9:14 pm #85669daniel groverKeymaster
We got 23 acres down in late May. Got it in, about 1,200 bales of high quality feed. Got down another 5 or so acres, rained on but still baled it and will use it for horses. Had about 2 acres come in damp– that will be bedding.
Haven’t had a real window yet in June and have a 20 acre field we plan to mow for first cut sitting totally rank. We’ll see how the mowing is once we get in there but I imagine it’ll be rough going. Any mower tune-ups or adjustments anyone makes when mowing lodged or rank hay?June 16, 2015 at 10:07 pm #85675dominiquer60Moderator
Rye straw is in but musty, not a single bale of hay yet. We had snow into April, then a dust bowl, then 3.5 inches all at once, then dry, now back to wet. We missed a good window while we were busy planting corn and other crops, then we didn’t want to chance the slight chances of rain that ended up being good hay weather. Reva got hers down with a good yield last week when there were a few chances of showers that never happened.June 16, 2015 at 10:40 pm #85677j.l.holtParticipant
haying can be quite trying..we need it,,,we know we need it.. and is the only thing in farming that has to be done when its ready. all the other things can wait a week or so if need be. not haying.
lots of things can trip you up…everything from weather to twine,,to hired help. but when all the stars get lined up, and it goes in the loft, dry,,sweet,,and properly cured,,there is no better feeling to a farmer. knowing his stock will winter well, with plenty to hold you over if spring is late…and good hay can always be sold…a little extra cash never killed a farmer!
don’t make hay my self any more but love to drive by a well cured field and say to my self..”that smells like money” good luck guys/girls.June 23, 2015 at 3:41 pm #85696
Finally looks like a nice hay making stretch of weather, cutting 5 acres after work tonight 🙂
Happy Haying everyone.
EdJune 23, 2015 at 8:31 pm #85698Donn HewesKeymaster
My hay making window is still not that great. Chance of showers almost everyday and high temps of only 70, but at some point you just have to start. Unless the forecast changes for the worse I think I will mow 6 or 8 acres tomorrow. Wishing you all luck, DonnJune 24, 2015 at 8:50 am #85699Does’ LeapParticipant
I mowed 3.5 acres yesterday afternoon while it showered. This is the first time we mowed this year and it is our latest start in 6 years of making hay. It was one of the most challenging mowing experiences I have had – thick, partially lodged hay on wet ground. The field is generally a dry one, but in one wet section the wheels on my MD #9 would lose traction in the mud and the knives would bind tight while the mower would spin off to the left. Mowing the leeward direction proved fruitless in the lodged hay as I would just roll right over it and I finally decide to only mow in the windward direction – one pass mowing, raise the cutter bar, and back to the beginning, over and over.
We were hoping to mow another 5 acres today, but the weather forecast is not cooperating. Whoever said making hay with horses would be easy right?
GeorgeJune 24, 2015 at 9:08 am #85700JayChaseParticipant
I have mowed a very small section to try out my equipment.
All worked well, got rained on the night before I was going to bale… I let it dry some more and just forked it on the wagon and will feed it quickly…
Can’t wait to hook up my NH 66 baler to my ground driven PTO forecart…
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.June 24, 2015 at 9:47 am #85705robie robinsonParticipant
Fjords? or real short Belgians. In either case they look good.June 24, 2015 at 9:34 pm #85706wild millersParticipant
George, that sounds like it must have been quite a test of patience. One way or another you got it though.
We also got after our first cutting today, about 3 acres down and tedded. This is our first go of managing our own hay operation on our own land…what a thrill! I’m sure that I will have days with conditions like George was dealing with, at some point it is inevitable.
Not today though…
#9 ran smooth and clean, the Grimm tedder also did it’s job. The crop in this old field was fairly thin in most spots and had a large swath of very dense red clover down the center. I’ve never mowed through such thick red clover before, there was Timothy growing with it but the clover was so dense and matted that the grass board was useless at clearing a swath for the next pass. No real clogging to speak of all morning though.
I had a brush with pure and complete contentment for a while with the mower running smooth, horses going good, mostly easy mowing conditions, comfortable breeze blowing and our local flock of Barn/Tree Swallows dancing all over the field around me. I’m sure some of you have mowed through a similar picture at some point. I’m very grateful for the memory.
Now crossing our fingers to keep the good weather until it’s in the barn.
Happy hay season all-
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.June 25, 2015 at 12:57 pm #85708daniel groverKeymaster
George and Joel, are you running steel or rubber on your #9’s? What length bar are you running?
Tuesday night the plan was to lay into our next haying target. We have a big 18 acres + 3 a acre piece of dairy pasture that didn’t get grazed so we were hoping to at least get the 3 down. Wednesday morning the forecast looked much more dicey so we decided not to mow. It’s now Thursday afternoon and still not a drop.
We also had both mowers apart. Leaving them outside a couple of rainy days and bad seals left us with rusty, dirty oil. Not as bad as it could have been if we hadn’t spotted it. I flushed both out with diesel this morning, refilled with clean oil, and used some of the squeeze on rubber gasket stuff to seal them up. I think it’ll work on the #7 since it has a fill plug in the top so we shouldn’t have to remove the cover too often (I’m thinking once a year to give a look). On the #9, though, there’s no fill plug so we’d have to redo the gasket every time we need to fill the oil. I also think that we have a bad pitman seal on that mower. Has anyone on here used the squeeze on rubber gasket for their mowers? Do you think it’ll be effective?
We’ll keep looking for another window to get the rest of our first cut in–some of the ground we mowed back in May is looking almost ready to be cut again.June 25, 2015 at 2:44 pm #85709Does’ LeapParticipant
I have two #9 mowers – one 6 footer with a “E Z Cut System” and a 5 footer with new haybine knives and guards. Both are on steel wheels. I was using the 6 foot mower on Tuesday.
I think the rubber gasket might get you by in a pinch, but I would go ahead and replace the seals. It is not a bad job. I put two seals instead of one for good measure.
GeorgeJune 25, 2015 at 10:05 pm #85716JayParticipant
I second George’s thoughts on the seal- replace it when you can, with 2. It’s worth not loosing all that oil all the time. An inexpensive seal puller will take the old one out in about 2 shakes, usually. JayJune 26, 2015 at 6:17 am #85718
Well, after two perfect days of drying, Mother Nature was not kind to us last night. The crop was almost dry enough to bale yesterday late but I just couldn’t take chance on it. Now to figure out how to dry this stuff today and tomorrow before the big rain comes on Sunday?
Whoever said farming was easy ?
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