Tuesday, July 22, 2014

From Point A to Point B

Rain is both a blessing and curse to a hay crop.

Randy was thrilled to be putting down nice, thick windrows of alfalfa. The rains that brought wheat harvest to a screeching halt in June also made some of the best alfalfa we've had after several years of drought.

But, after he got the hay down, it rained some more - a little more than 2 inches on the freshly swathed alfalfa, in fact.

However, there was a break in the weather and the guys put up 300 bales of alfalfa in two days. They got it done just about the time the baler broke. It's in Hutchinson at the repair shop now, getting the rollers inside the baler replaced.

All total, the guys have put up approximately 500 bales from 240 acres this summer. (We have 210 acres of alfalfa and we put up another 30 acres for a neighbor.) Then, they have to move the bales from Point A to Point B.

I've covered most aspects of hay production before (swathing, raking and baling), but I don't think I've shared too many photos of moving the bales out of the field.

We put a bale mover on the back of the tractor, kind of like a two-pronged fork.  Randy backs up the tractor and puts one big bale on each "tine" of the implement.
 Sometimes, we store the bales right at the edge of the field. In this case, he drove a few hundred yards away.
Here is the back view of the bales on the fork.
Then, he backed the tractor up to put the bales into the line-up.
Better him than me. Actually, Jill did the majority of the bale moving when she was home. I wish I could find a photo of her. I know I took some, but I haven't run across them.
After he got the bales into position, he lowers the fork and pulls the "tines" out of the bale. Then it's back to pick up the next two bales.
 Photo from 2008

With the bales along the road, they are readily accessible for the guys to feed our own cattle in the winter ...
... or sell to other buyers.
Randy is going to play the odds and put down more hay today. Let's just hope the parts come in as predicted for the baler, so that the alfalfa can be baled when it's ready to go.

Timing is everything.

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