Tuesday, June 7, 2016

2016 Hay Harvest Has Officially Begun

So I brought out the half finished 861 diesel and hooked up that old PoS sickle bar mower once again.

The forecaster people seem convinced the monsoon season is over and the heat is here. They are forecasting like five days straight of sun and no rain with highs into the upper 80's. A bit early in the year but everyone around me is scrambling to get their first hay crop in.

I went to the machine shop and had a new piece made for the bar tip and decided to see if I could get this old sickle bar mower to work.

All I can really say is it worked better than last year but not by much. I finally played with the setting and leveled it enough that I kinda got the entire front field mowed, sorta, It left a lot of stuff standing though so I think I am going to go over it tomorrow with the brush hog set up high to even it out.

That grass was thick though let me tell you. There was also a lot of clover and alfalfa hidden down in it as well.

It kept wrapping itself around the PTO shaft and driving me crazy too.

On the plus side the 861 diesel ran like a champ except I soon discovered the battery is going bad. Oil pressure stayed good and the temp never rose much. I had to adjust the transmission linkage though as it refused to go into gear without grinding when I first fired her up. The newly over hauled engine now has a whopping 3 hours on her.

One thing is for certain. I am going to need to get a better mower. I just don't have the experience or know how to get this old Massey mower working properly as she wants to constantly clog up every few feet and then knocks over far too much hay.

A few days to let it dry and I will turn it over with the rake and see if I can bale it up. Hope the rains hold off.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!


  1. They have been cutting here but I have yet to see anyone doing square bales. They roll most of it and some just wrap the green baled hay in plastic like silage where it ferments for cattle use. A lot of the hay is sprayed with weed killer and that gets passed through the animals to the manure and can still affect plants if it is put on a garden. I don't notice the sweet smell with rolls that you get when putting up square bales, a very nice smell to go with the sweat.

  2. they have been cutting here for the past fortnight, we were hoping to have our extra land by now and we planned to turn some over to hay, but its not finalised yet there wont be a hay crop this year as it is still being grazed by horses and will be until the day we complete contracts :-(

    1. dawn,
      please don't spray it with grazon.

  3. Good luck! We need to be cutting hay in this dry spell but are having tractor issues. Our tractor is a 1974 Ford and there is a part that is busted that needs to be welded. My husband can weld and has the equipment, but this is a particularly tricky weld (and they no longer produce the part). So we have a friend that plans to help when he gets back in town tomorrow night. Hopefully we won't have missed the dry spell period.

  4. No hay cutting here yet, although a neighbour is having his field cut soon and has donated a few bales of hay to us. Wish he would let us have some grazing land as well!

  5. (waves hello) I'm over here saving my pennies to buy hay.


Leave a comment. We like comments. Sometimes we have even been known to feed Trolls.