Finishing First Cutting

Finishing First Cutting

Before we get started, I noticed last week that notifications weren't being sent for new posts, so I apologize. It should just be two articles that were missed, and this should be resolved now.

We still had about 18 acres left to bale after the first time we took up hay. The first step was to cut the hay. The whole time I was cutting the hay, the storm was threatening a storm but my luck held out. I got sprinkled on for maybe a total of 10 seconds.

After they were cut, the fields looked great.

The next thing to do was let the hay dry. I sped that up some with the new tedder.

Next up was raking the hay so it could be baled.

Now that the hay was dry and raked, the only thing left to do was bale it and get it in the barn. We were going to bale over the course of two days, and I decided to hire labor. The first day, I had three people I hired plus my mom helping. The second day, we were down a person with two people I hired plus my mom helping. The first day, a weld on the baler snapped as soon as we turned it on. This resulted in three and a half hours of lost baling time and paying people to stand around.

The second day went much more smoothly (for the most part). This time we were baling the front field which is too sloped to run a wagon behind the baler on. This left us no option but to do things the old fashioned way.

In addition to the two stalls already filled, we added quite a bit more hay to the barn.

We did have one mishap the second day of baling. I checked the twine in the twine cabinet to make sure we weren't running low, and I forgot to latch the door securely when I was done. All of the sudden I saw a roll of twine rolling down the hill with about 50 feet of twine stretched behind the baler. I tried to quickly put the twine back in the roll, but that's not a particularly easy task.

Since the twine wasn't wrapped smoothly, it bunched up and clogged. This required me to re-tie the baler which is unfortunately something I've had to do many times. No big deal. Remove a bolt, lift up the arm, cut the twine knot free, then tie the twine back to the needle arms. Unfortunately this time the twine was knotted up pretty tightly, and I really had to wedge the knife in there. When the twine finally cut, the knife slid right into my thumb. We had to take about an hour and a half to patch me up.

Between the lost time the first day and the lost time/loss of use of one hand the second day we unfortunately left 250-300 bales worth of hay in the field. I'm not happy about the loss, but we still got a lot of hay put up. Thanks to the weather we won't have a middle summer cutting, so now I've got time to catch up on chores and repairs before the fall cutting.