Wet Hay

Wet Hay

Unfortunately when baling the first nine acres, we found out that some of the thicker windrows didn't dry down entirely and we ended up with bales that were too wet. My neighbor used his moisture probe to test a few bales, and we found out the bales were too wet. Depending on which guidelines you read, you want small square bales no higher than 20-25% moisture. Ideally, you want the bales closer to 14-15%. If you put up hay that's...

Read More Read More

Taking Up Hay

Taking Up Hay

With the rain cleared out, it was time to work on getting the first cut of the year up. I didn't have the labor or enough dry days in a row to hay the whole property, so I picked out about nine acres. The first step was to cut the hay with my new haybine. The cutting went much faster with the haybine than the sickle mower. The fields looked amazing after it was done. Now that the field was...

Read More Read More

Fixing the Haybine

Fixing the Haybine

During the test run of my haybine, I ran into an issue with the PTO shaft. There's a U bracket that the PTO shaft sits in, and a collar goes around the PTO shaft at that point. A bolt goes through the bracket, into the collar, and out the other side of the bracket. A plate is then bolted on top of the collar to keep the hydraulic hoses off the ground. The bolt going through the U bracket had...

Read More Read More

New Haybine

New Haybine

After my trial run it was obvious that the sickle mower wasn't going to get me through the year. Originally, my plan was to get through this hay season and then purchase a disc mower. Disc mowers are pretty expensive, so buying one immediately wasn't an option. I decided to look at haybines again. Haybines use the same type of cutter bar as a sickle mower, but they also have a reel that picks up matted down hay prior to...

Read More Read More

Hay Trial Run

Hay Trial Run

I have a one acre field that isn't being used for anything. I decided I would cut and hay that field as a trial run for this year's hay season. It wasn't great quality hay, but it would serve the purpose I needed. Last year I used the Ford tractor with the sickle mower. This year, I decided to use the Mahindra with the sickle mower. It took a while to get it setup, but this was going to be...

Read More Read More

Ford Ignition

Ford Ignition

When I first purchased the Ford tractor, the ignition system didn't work at all. To start the tractor, you hot-wired it by touching the starter cable directly on the battery post. This obviously isn't ideal for many reasons. We started trying to fix the ignition system in September, and it has been a long difficult road. I decided the best thing to do would be to take the hood off so we could see everything easier. The first step was...

Read More Read More

Flowers

Flowers

I moved to the farm late summer last year, so I missed all of the spring blooms. For the last mowing of the year, I mowed everything. I figured whatever wanted to bloom would come back this year, but I had no idea what was actually there. I was pleasantly surprised at what all came back!

Read More Read More

Removing a Stump

Removing a Stump

There's a small stump in my front yard that has been there since I moved in. I'm not sure what the tree used to be, but judging from the stump it hasn't been a tree for quite a while. It's a pain to mow around, and I don't think it adds much to aesthetics. I decided to remove the stump to make mowing a little easier. I figured it wouldn't take much to pull the stump out, because it moves...

Read More Read More

Mowing Around the Barn

Mowing Around the Barn

This year I decided I wanted to use a lawn mower rather than a bush hog to cut the grass around the barn. A bush hog chops the grass instead of cutting like a regular mower or a finish mower attachment for a tractor. This gives it a much cleaner look. Unfortunately I waited too long, and the grass was too tall and thick for the mower. I decided to bush hog first, then come back through with the mower....

Read More Read More

Flat Tire

Flat Tire

When I purchased the hay equipment, the rear tires on the Ford tractor were in really rough shape. I decided to leave them alone until they started causing a problem. When I walked out to the barn and saw this, I figured it would count as a problem. I loosened the lug nuts, jacked the tractor up, then removed the tire. In case you haven't ever worked with tractor tires, they aren't exactly light. I figured between two of us...

Read More Read More