Monday, July 7, 2014

Tractor Time - Raking Hay Small Hold Addition





It started off what I thought was gonna be a fairly easy day of it. I had to do a little bit of tilling, a little mowing, get my truck out of the shop and maybe put my little Nuc of bees into a full sized hive. My plan was to get it all done before 10 or 11 o'clock and then fool around inside the rest of the day.

I put a pot of beans on to simmer with a huge hunk of ham ready to go in this afternoon and then my Mother called and asked if I could rake the Alfalfa field so they could bale it up this evening.

We discussed putting this cutting into small square bales this time around but the Alfalfa has not over taken the Clover and other grass/weeds enough yet so we are just going to round bale it. The girl down the road was all ready to help me stack those square bales but since I didn't need her I sent her home.

As you can see she was rather put out by the rejection :)

It was then time to put the little Ford into Rake mode.




The biggest issue I have in trying to turn back time and use a sixty year old small tractor as much as possible around here is finding implements that fit it's 20 HP engine.  Luckily rakes are not an issue, we have a few laying around down at the parents place including this 50 year old John Deere model that fits my little Ford like a glove.

I then commenced to raking....




Here's the bottom (Eastern) half of the Alfalfa field all raked up and ready for the round baler. I am betting we will get three or maybe four round bales off the entire field. I know that doesn't sound like much but hopefully by the next cutting we will switch to square bales of straight Alfalfa for the Sheep when they are expecting and nursing. If the Alfalfa takes over like it is suppose to this will save us some serious cash and hauling of hay during Lambing season next year.

As it stands right now though it's just gonna be a couple round bales for the general Winter feeding added to all the other bales we have and will get over the course of the Summer.

After the raking was done I had to put the little Ford back into Brush Hog mode once again.




I swear I spent more time changing out the implements than I did raking the hay. These old Ford tractors with their non-independent PTO drives, no hydraulics or power steering can sometimes be a real pain to get situated just right for the 3 point hook ups. One reason I try and keep the tractor in whatever mode I expect to need next because often as I pointed out it takes me longer to switch back and forth than it does doing the job itself.

After they get the rows I raked up baled I need to hit along the edges and a couple of trouble spots with the brush hog to cut down some of the weeds a bit. As thick as the Alfalfa was in there it should spring ahead and begin crowding out the other vegetation now. As it was we let it go way too long and the mower knocked a lot of the Alfalfa down instead of cutting it.

Keep Prepping Everyone and tell the neighbor girl not to take it personally.

 

21 comments:

  1. That countryside sure looks familiar. :)

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  2. I got tired of fighting the 3 point hitch and invested in a pair of these; http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200280774_200280774

    It adds to the length of the draw bars (maybe 2") but I adjusted that out with the top bar. I would highly recommend the investment if you change implements much, it cut my attaching time by 75%.

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    1. Interesting idea but I wonder if they come in Category 2 and work with a sway bar? That sway bar is a real pain as well.

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    2. Yep they do make em for Cat 2... I must look into that.... Thanks for the heads up...

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  3. That's all, 20HP?
    Most riding lawn mowers today have more that that...:-)

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    1. So they say. All I know is that implements made to fit on the old tractors need to be under 20 HP and 540 RPM on the PTO. My guess is they are measured differently or should include some torgue modifier or something.

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    2. Most of the 1940 and 1950's tractors were rated between 20 and 30 HP. I think Ford claimed 27 HP on the PTO but it usually works out to around 20HP for good operation that I have seen. Not really sure what the difference is because I know I can pull things those little 20HP mowers couldn't dream of and if one of them is running after 60 years I would be seriously impressed :)

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    3. Yup, I would like to see the junk being made today last a year without a service call.

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  4. All I can think of is how that poor girl had to go home, who knows what trouble she got into with out supervision.
    I think that they rated HP different back then. Obviously 20 horses would drag a lawn tractor down the road without even breaking a sweat but an 8N would put up a fight at least because of nothing else than it has more mass.

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    1. Sf - I told her to get used to rejection and I was just trying to help her out. YA know with the way the economy is going and all :)

      YA I c=don;t know about the so called HP. My garden tractor says like 10 or 12 HP and I assure you it wouldn't even pull my trailer. It is odd.

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  5. i just came over to tell you that i love you, that you are doing great work and that you are a wiener. i betchya some of your readers are gonna be like "huh'? but they aren't in on our little game - bahahahahah! ya wiener!

    much love to you and yours! your garden is looking fantastic (yes, i caught up on older posts, ya wiener!) your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Heh. Glad ya came by :)

      The garden actually looks better today after I cleaned around the edges yesterday and this morning. The local mower dude brought me a new load of grass clippings too just in time as the weeds were breaking through in the squash section.

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  6. Replies
    1. I asked her to drive over the bumpy spots for sure :)

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  7. rolls eyes you guys. Nice to get things done. If you did squares how much would you get vs round??

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    1. Rob - As it turned out we got three, well almost three round bales. We would have gotten at least a full three except there was so much that just got knocked over as it was so thick. Anyway the Step Dad, who is the expert says you should expect about 20 square bales per round bale more or less. So 60 maybe. Of course the next cutting won't be so thick either.

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  8. hey pp = gonna make your head pop!

    http://www.businessinsider.com/harvard-robobees-closer-to-pollinating-crops-2014-6

    you will need some advil - lol!

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    1. LOL - Jamby as long as the oil holds out for them to make such things. In china they actually make workers hand pollinate plants and even then they have a very poor rate. Of course if they would just read my post on Obummer's misguided honey bee initiative and how to fix it they could make all the honey bee problems go away for good.

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  9. I like that quick change adapter!

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    1. MV - Ya I like it too. I am currently weighing the price of the Cat 2 one, which is a bit more expensive than the Cat3. Also not sure I have enough implements yet to warrant the cost but it would be nice to say the least.

      The other thing I am worried about is if I would need to purchase a new PTO shaft if it extended the bars out another 2 inches.

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