Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Haying Day 3 - A Raking We Will Go
This is the easiest of the hay making steps for me anyway. The only part besides throwing the complete bales around that I have plenty of experience with. I have raked windrows over the years since I was a weeeeee lad for several different baler and operator combinations so I know a little bit about it.
All the raking I have ever done has been on an 8N too. In fact my first reaction to seeing someone else raking hay that is not on an 8N is to think they are doing it wrong :)
One trick I learned over three decades ago about running a bar rake is that if it doesn't have a dolly on it then use a cross bar.
In fact my grandfather's neighbor way back when had a New Holland rake with a dolly on it and took the dolly off and just ran the cross bar. Running the ground driven rake from the cross bar allows me to raise the rake from the tractors hydraulics enough to run over windrows if I feel the need without scattering the raked hay too much. It also allows me to do some minor height adjustments from the seat as the ground changes.
I was able to get the little Alfalfa field raked up into four windrows of a little over a foot or so high. In truth an experienced bale operator would laugh at my small windrows and complain there isn't enough there to bother baling but with the new (to me) baler which is small anyway and my lack of experience I decided to try some thinner windrows at first.
There ended up being more hay there than I feared although like I have mentioned more than once there is alot of vegetation just pushed over too.
Here is a section where two windrows came together just passed an old cistern cover on the edge of the field that I had to maneuver around. It's actually pretty good looking hay even if it is a bit sparse. It has dried to almost the perfect moisture level to my amateur eye anyway and retained a lot of it's green color too which I was always told was a good indication of nice hay.
Tomorrow we will see if the baler works and how many bales I get off this small cutting if it does. I am guessing between 25 and 30 myself.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!