Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sickle Mower Fail

Well it didn't rain today but I am pretty sure it did last night at some point because there was too much water and everything was too wet for it to have just been dew.

Despite this and the fact that we have been getting hit with rain almost every day in some form I am out of time on the front field. I had to get it cut today. The next four days are only showing minor chances of rain. I know it's a gamble and not one I normally would take but I have no choice this year it seems.

So if you remember right I was working on the weak link of my haying operation which is the old Massey Sickle Bar Mower. The first pass I actually thought I had made some improvement and actually rendered the thing usable. However it quickly became obvious that I had only managed to delay the inevitable and the old thing started jamming up and would stop cutting about every 20 feet.

Let me tell you getting off and on the tractor and unjamming that POS was about to give me a heart attack. I got about a 3rd of the field done and then just said "Screw it" and went and hooked up the brush hog. Brush hogging the field will reduce the yield by a good bit but it's better than being in the hospital I guess.

When the old sickle bar mower worked it worked well but it would start jamming up on the end and work it's way down until the whole thing was just pushing the hay over and not cutting. Even using the Brush Hog I am betting I simply laid a large chunk of the available hay down and didn't get it cut. Will make raking it a pain too.

I should have taken a before picture but it wouldn't have shown much except a wall of Johnson grass about 8 or 9 feet tall really. There is still a lot of Brome and Alfalfa in spots out there but mostly the Johnson grass has taken over the edges and hidden it. Johnson Grass makes OK hay but it's really pretty good pasture I must say even though I hate the stuff in the garden and other places I don't want it. It's incredibly hard to kill and the sheep like eating it which is a good combination for pasture grass.

So the dice are rolled. Will the wet ground and humid conditions allow what I got cut to cure in time to bale it up before it rains again? Will playing the 90% odds that we won't get any rain (this coming from the accu-guess weather people BTW) pay off? Will my rake and baler continue to work properly even if the other odds fall in my favor?

The way this Summer has been going..... I wouldn't bet on myself to be honest.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!


  1. I saw a gent using his brush hog yesterday get the thick stuff. I told my wife what he was doing, and she asked me why. It too thick for a regular mower. Like our back yard is getting.

  2. We always have at least one piece of haying equipment break each time we get it up. We have old equipment though. Our hay is mostly orchard grass and some fescue.

  3. You might run across a good one this winter but then it might just be the grass messing it up. I remember in the old days the hay fields were mostly orchard and fescue here, I never saw Johnson grass as I guess they kept it killed out if it was even here. I thought the stuff was corn coming up the first time I saw it. The devil's corn.

  4. Dude!

    why do the best always take it the nards - i sooo feel for you right now!!

    seriously - you try so damn hard and them get what i would call "pp luck" - ie zero ;-)

    always rooting for anyway you pal!!

  5. PP,

    Ouch!!! Good thing you changed machines. Your Sweet Wife, and your friend wouldn't want to see you in the hospital.

  6. I hope the weather cooperates for you! We lost all the grass and weed cuttings around the garden because it wouldn't stop raining. My goats so prefer my dried weedy offerings to the "horse hay" I buy. But I didn't realize horses were so worthless! Dan would agree unless it's a draft horse (his dream, not mine).


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