Fall 2018 Hay

Fall 2018 Hay

We had some fairly crazy weather this fall, so we didn't quite get the hay up as early as I hoped. We baled a couple of acres in September in 95 degree weather which is fairly unheard of for that time of year. It actually was pretty nice because I was able to cut on a Wednesday and bale on a Friday. After that, we had to wait for the rain from two hurricanes to pass through and dry off.

Once again, the haybine did incredibly well.

F2018 cutting hay 1

F2018 cutting hay 2

F2018 cutting hay 3

The only real issue with the haybine was a tire blowout. I had less than an acre left (of course) when the tire blew and completely shredded. I only noticed it because the haybine started drifting down hills rather than trailing behind me. Luckily one of the tires on the baler had lug nuts that lined up with the haybine and the tire was close enough in size. After that, I had both tires on the haybine replaced and one on the baler replaced since it was showing some dry rot.

I had 22 acres of hay get rained on a little, so running the tedder was pretty much a daily chore until everything was baled. The ground was also pretty saturated from the rain we had previously, so drying the hay down was pretty difficult.

F2018 tedder

I taught my mom how to run the baler this year, and she did a great job!

F2018 baling 1

Her baling freed me up to run the skid steer to load the hay on wagons and keep the process in the barn running smoothly without having to shut down the baler to do so. The last day of baling, a weld on the Mahindra broke and the drawbar was no longer usable. Rather than trying to fix the Mahindra, I decided to finish out the year on the Ford. Since that tractor isn't quite as safe and the field that was left had the most dangerous hills, I decided to let my mom have the day off from running the baler.

F2018 baling 2

F2018 baling 3

F2018 baling 4

The Mahindra breaking was actually a blessing in disguise. We were doing about 120-130 bales per hour on the Mahindra, and about a third of the bales were tipping on edge or on end coming out of the chamber. The Ford put out 262 bales in about an hour, and only a couple of bales total didn't land flat. Needless to say, the Ford will be our baling tractor from now on.

The grapple was a lifesaver this cutting. There's no way we would have gotten the hay up without it. Occasionally, my dad was able to follow me with the truck and trailer so that as soon as I had a full load in the grapple the trailer was right there. The last day of baling was steep hills, so I had to park the trailer at the edge of the field which meant a ton of driving back and forth to empty the grapple. Even with the extra driving, I was able to load 150 bales in about 90 minutes by myself. No way that's doable without the grapple.

F2018 grapple 1

One day we had to bale in an odd pattern to maximize drying times for a section of field in the shade, so I just followed the baler and picked them up as they came out!

F2018 grapple 2

F2018 grapple 3

F2018 grapple 4

This winter I thought I may have ended up with more wagons than I really needed, but it turns out there's no such thing as too many wagons!

F2018 wagons

We barely fit all the hay in the barn. All the stalls were completely full, and we stacked in the alley between the stalls too. Luckily, I sold quite a few bales between the few acres in September and the remaining acres in October, otherwise I don't think we would have fit everything.

F2018 stacked

This hay season had a ton of tough spots and learning moments, but overall I'm very pleased considering it was my first full season. I was incredibly relieved when the season was done, but that only lasted a couple of days. I'm ready to start baling again!