Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Worth the Wait?

The farmer says it was worth the wait. But he wishes he'd had our new Case IH DC-163 mower conditioner (AKA, a pull-type swather) sooner.

"I should have traded five years ago," is his assessment. But he's not sure all the features were available five years ago.
We traded our old swather and baler last December after we'd used them 10 seasons. The baler came in time for our first cutting of alfalfa earlier this summer. But, due to a glitch at the dealership, we had to wait on the swather for several more weeks. At least it showed up before August, the date we were originally told.

There was rain in the forecast last week. Randy held off starting to put the second cutting of hay down on Monday and Tuesday, but it didn't rain. He put some down on Wednesday and Thursday, so, of course, it rained Friday morning - but only about 0.10" to 0.20." 
The long tongue connects it to the tractor, giving enough length to maneuver it without hitting the tractor.
Randy is not exactly sure why, but he's using one-third less fuel pulling the new equipment, probably because it doesn't pull down the tractor's engine as much.
The rotary knives are mounted on turtle shells. (When he told me that, I thought Ninja Turtles from Brent's preschool days - strong and quick!) Anyway, the knives are cutting the hay better. He says he's able to control the cutting height better as well.

The mower conditioner is 6 inches wider, which may not seem like a lot, but it does make for fewer trips up and down the field.
Randy says it seems to be built stronger and has fewer moving parts than our old one, which should make fewer things to go wrong and make it easier to fix. Well, we can always hope.
"And the paint is prettier."

You might think I would have said that. But it was actually my farmer. 


  1. I love the smell of alfalfa, to me that's heaven.
    Mary Jane Hawver McEntire

    1. Yes, it's sensory overload with the fragrance and the beautiful colors!

    2. I have to agree with Mary - the smell of freshly cut alfalfa I feel will never leave me.

      Great to read (and see) you have your new mower. Looks good, and yes, the paint is pretty!

    3. It was such a pretty scene the night I took the photo - red tractor and swather, pretty blue sky dotted with clouds, purple blooms on green alfalfa. I know you can relate (except for the color of the tractor)!

  2. Kim,
    Silly me, I never thought about them making a rotary pull type swather. I've only seen the self propelled. Yea that all is going well with the new machine.

    J got done swathing today. He is raking oats and barley for his Dad. With good luck we will start on the last prairie hay field in the morning.

    J is going to wait until August to cut the hay coralls. That is a small hay project.

  3. That's the only kind we've ever had. The swather is doing well. We've had some issues with the new baler. Hopefully, they will get the "bugs" worked out soon.