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Hay Help

lennie

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Okay,,,,dont kill the messanger

I know most of you are having problems with drought.....certainly that is not my problem up here in western New York.

Bought a brand new massey baler in May, can't get the hay cut because of too much rain.....damn, it rains almost every day! And it is cool besides.

We are pretty new to baling but have decided we have to cut next week (hubby is on vacation from his regular job) What is the shortest time frame before baling, Can we cut one day, let it set one day and rake and bale on the same day? I know it is better to let it dry some, but honestly it has rained here almost every day. We have no tedder so if it gets wet should we just re-mow or run the rake over it a second time. Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question, I guess it is!
 

grannysoo

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lennie":vygufffk said:
We are pretty new to baling but have decided we have to cut next week (hubby is on vacation from his regular job)

You shouldn't cut hay based upon vacation time. As has always been said, you make hay when the sun shines!

lennie":vygufffk said:
What is the shortest time frame before baling, Can we cut one day, let it set one day and rake and bale on the same day?

You can, however if it's not dry, you're going to have problems. If your moisture is too high, you're going to have a lot heat, a lot of mold, and some pretty worthless hay after it cooks off.

lennie":vygufffk said:
I know it is better to let it dry some, but honestly it has rained here almost every day.

If it's raining every day, then you just don't cut hay.

lennie":vygufffk said:
We have no tedder so if it gets wet should we just re-mow or run the rake over it a second time. Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question, I guess it is!

"Re-mowing" won't do any good. It's already cut. What you can do is let down only one side of the rake and use it to turn the hay over (as best it can).

Honestly, with rain every day or so and cool weather, there's no way in the world that I would cut hay. My luck would be hay that would stay wet, end up getting slick and rotten, and then me having to burn the field to get rid of it.

You can chemically spray hay with acid if you have the setup if must bale it with too much moisture (but not wet!), but you're probably not set up to do that either.

I don't know anything about the subject, but others know about making sileage. That may be your only option if you can't graze it instead.
 

lennie

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Yes, I know you have to cut when it is good, but the other problem is my husbands fulltime job is restricting his use of vacation time, he can only take it when they say so......

We have let it set for all this time because we can't get enough days with no rain, we are starting to get antsy about it though....If we don't get any good days this week, we will keep waiting, but man it has been tough.

Figures it will be old and tough by the time it gets baled.
 

OLF

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I'm right there with you lennie. The rain is endless. We haven't had three days in a row without rain since May. IF it stops raining, it is still going to be tough to make good hay. Obviously, it's already matured and lost quality. Also, the ground is so saturated, the cut hay will draw moisture from the ground. I suggest getting or borrowing a tedder. We just have to accept that first cutting won't be good, but get it cut and off the field, and hope for a good second cutting.
 

KW4071

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Rent or borrow a wrapper. If bales are wrapped, you can bale same day you cut
 

mnmtranching

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You will need good drying conditions to cut one day and bale the next. Best is to get it cut as early as possible in the day then bale as late as possible the next. That way you will be getting a 2 day dry. Better chance if you have grass hay. Not possible with heavy alfalfa or clover unless it is REALLY mature.
 

alabama

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lennie":2a7e7tj2 said:
Figures it will be old and tough by the time it gets baled.

Old and tough is better than wet rotton. I would not cut if I don't have a chance to get it up.
Also when it has been raining every day the ground is wet so it takes even longer to cure and dry.
I have been waiting for for almost two weeks to cut 20 acres but it will just have to grow until The weather dries out a bit. Meanwhile other patches are getting ready.
Another thought is to cut at night after work. You still have to take off to roll it up but that is just one day and you might get lucky and catch it on the weekend.
 

hillsdown

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Sell your machinery and get a custom outfit to do your haying every year instead, you can never make mother nature work around your schedule. Wrapping it if it is wet is a very good idea However if you are just planning on baling it wet/damp anyways because you have run out of time then you might as well let it stay on the ground.

BTW, putting up shytty hay is a great way to get a reputation and it won't be good.
 

msscamp

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lennie":ki4u5dtq said:
Figures it will be old and tough by the time it gets baled.

Rank and feedable beats the hell out of nasty, and moldy any day of the week! I hear you, we had the same problem in June - first cutting on both alfalfa pivots is trash, and the grass was way rank by the time the rain quit and we could get it cut. Guess what? My goats, and the horses are enjoying that rank grass hay, but they won't touch the trash alfalfa! ;-) :lol:
 

LoveMoo11

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We've been getting rain mostly every day here too, so we are just cutting and wrapping or just chopping to make haylage.
 

Jogeephus

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lennie":160mm5hq said:
Yes, I know you have to cut when it is good, but the other problem is my husbands fulltime job is restricting his use of vacation time, he can only take it when they say so......

This is the biggest reason I see ya'll don't need to be doing your own haying. You cannot schedule hay making. It schedules you. If you can't do this you really need to get someone to do it for you. Not being negative just stating a fact.
 

lavacarancher

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Jogee is absolutely right and he beet me to the reply.

A lot of us have a "day" job to help support our habits. Baling hay can not be done a your schedule but mother natures schedule. I can't tell you how many times I have scheduled vacation to get the haying done only to have it rain, or one of the pieces of equipment break down or some other emergency that takes away from the haying chore. I always tell folks that I could probably make more money being a rain maker 'cause every time I cut hay it starts to rain.

When these sorts of things come up it's best to have a custom baler come in and do it for you. Down side to that is when it's good haying weather for you it's good haying weather for everyone so the custom baler is going to be busy. Welcome to farming and ranching and good luck. :)
 

mnmtranching

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I will add, Mature hay in rainy conditions is a LOT different then mature hay in drought conditions. In wet conditions the hay will stool, branch and sprout making the quality and yield better then that of the dry weather hay.
 

lennie

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Thanks New Hampshire reader.....I thought It was just us.

The reason we bought our own brand new hay baler this year was because we can't get custom baling done where we are. Last year we finally had another farmer help us out and we cut and raked it ourselves, then he came and baled it. It worked out okay for first cutting, but his second cutting bales just fell apart trying to take them from the field to the barn.

In a normal year, we could take vacation days to get it done, but this year hubby's work is slow from the economy so they are not allowing any vacation other than what "they" schedule. But even that is not really the problem the "real" problem is that it literally rains here every other day. And I am not just talkin a passing shower.......we have even had tornados which is virtually unheard of here is western ny. But.....maybe hope is in sight, the forcast is rain tommorrow afternoon/evening, a cool down (temps in mid 70's for the rest of this week) but no rain forcast for Thursday through Sunday! Maybe we can get it done this week.

It is grass hay, not alfalfa hopefully not too heavy to dry fast.
 

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