Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Well, the Weather Gypsies happened to be CLOSE to right this week. We actually got two days almost RAIN FREE!

Like the saying goes - "Make hay while the Sun shines....".

So we did.

I managed to cut a little hay on Monday afternoon. It took awhile to get started because of:

(1) HUMIDITY - It was NASTY out. You almost needed swimming lessons just to be outside.

(2) HAYBINE - Since this was the first time I had used this haybine with this tractor, we had to do a little "trial and error" in order to find what works best.

(3) RAIN - It rained Monday morning about 3/10ths. Sometime about 3:00 AM. The Gypsies didn't expect that one...

(4) MYSTERY BREAKDOWN - I was going along great when, all of a sudden, the haybine quits cutting. Everything moves, except the cutter bar. It took me about 20 minutes to find the culprit - a bent tooth. It was bent enough to catch, but not enough to find easily. I bent it back, then went on my way.

All-in-all, though, it wasn't a bad day. I got the hay cut in about 2 1/2 hours, then was able to relax a bit. My old New Holland 469 Haybine has cut a LOT of hay in it's time, and is still going. It has it's little troubles, but is a good machine still. I was also cutting a field that was previously never hayed. It had a few sticks in it to make noises and kick up.

Deb took my camera and made a short video:

Since it is really fine Native Prairie Grass (with some wild flowers mixed in...), it takes a haybine to cut it. It also doesn't take long to dry.

By 11:00 on Tuesday, it was ready to be raked. Some of the field had been cut about
2 1/2 weeks ago - when the weather gypsies said it wasn't going to rain. I had cut about an acre when the clouds formed. It didn't rain that day, but it rained the next. I managed to pick up what I had cut, but had been waiting for good weather ever since.

Here is a video of my 1949 Ford 8N pulling the Dearborn 14-42 rake of the same era:

Now it was time to hitch up the New Holland 273 Hayliner and get ready to go bale.

We let the hay dry until 3:30, then dove right in. I hooked up the homemade "Bale Basket" to the rear of the baler. I use this to catch the bales as they fall off of the baler chute. The basket collects them, then dumps them when I pull a rope attached to a lever.

It makes it REAL handy....it leaves the bales in piles of 8-10, instead of having singles dropped all over the field. Picking up the bales this way is a lot easier and less time consuming.

Here is a video of the baler and basket at work:

I had one bale in the basket that had a broken twine. Somehow, the baler tied it to the next bale in line. I stopped later and rebaled it.

It's nice having the hay in the barn, not in the field. We had it picked up and put inside by 7:30 last night.

Of course, right after we finished, the breeze came up and the humidity went down.....

I have some more hay to bale in a few days - weather permitting, and then some straw when a neighbor gets his wheat cut.

Even though it was HOT, I have always enjoyed haying. My back, hips, and knees won't let me enjoy it like I USED to, but it is still fun. I won't get much done in the next couple days - I'll be recovering.

But it was worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like it worked great. Glad you got it done without rain on it. How many bails did you get?

    We're still waiting to do ours. We keep getting a little rain. More then we need on cut hay.

    Kathy T


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