Baling 101 - Landon.
The break in the weather finally gave our area the opportunity to cut and bale hay. From what our neighbors have said, we (including everyone else), should have cut hay almost a month ago but the weather just wouldn't cooperate. I can understand, at least a little now, why farmers are so interested in constantly watching the weather to see what the patterns will do because the timing of the weather has to be just right.
From what we've learned, you need at least 5 days in a row without any rain to cut and bale the hay. One day to cut the hay and a day or two of hot, dry weather with, hopefully, a little breeze for it to dry. Then a day to rake it and a day to bale it. Then it needs to sit out in the field after it's been baled for at least a day or two so you can keep an eye on it in case it starts to heat up. If it starts to heat up it could start on fire; not likely, but possible.
The reason it could start on fire is because of spontaneous combustion. If the hay sits in the field for a day or two, you can check on the bale to see if it's heating up or not before taking it to the barn and stacking it.
Here's a great resource for spontaneous combustion from the Washington State University.
Thanks so much to The Rancher and his wife for all of their help and taking the time to teach our boys how to cut, rake, and bale hay and especially for the use of their equipment. It has been an incredible experience for all of us!!
We took some picture to show you a snippet of what they did in the course of a few days.
This is what the hay rake looks like while it's being pulled to and from the field. I don't know about you, but every once in a while I would see these strange things while out and about and I've always wondered what they were. Now I know, and so do you!!
This is the rake doing it's job. How creative were our forefathers who came before us!!
A view of the field after it's been cut and raked. As you can see, it was a beautiful day!!
Just another view of the field. The rake makes these perfect looking windrows for the baler to come along and bale the hay.
A bale that's been dropped off by the baler. And that's the baler in the background working on cleaning up the field and making another bale of hay.
The finished product!!
The grass is already growing since we've cut and baled the field so we'll see if we can get another cutting on it again this year.
July 15, 2014