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2020 hay harvesting

ttazzman

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#1
harvesting hay each year is a fun and profitable hobbie for me, i do 99% of it alone, i enjoy prepping, maintaining and using tractors and machines, its a calming thing for me, usually my female unit is traveling this time of year but due to covid she is around this year and taking pictures and helping a bit, I dropped a small field today to start the season and unique to this field i have a small adjoining field that is being prepped for discing up and planting this fall, so i had a nice parking lot for some toys :), we make "dry" specialty hay for horses ...the family farm never does anything like dry hay so this is a small piddly hobby operation but fun.

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smooth

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#2
I've helped put away plenty of hay. It's pretty miserable work LOL. But as a kid I would always skip school if there was a field that needed bucking.
 

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harvesting hay each year is a fun and profitable hobbie for me, i do 99% of it alone, i enjoy prepping, maintaining and using tractors and machines, its a calming thing for me, usually my female unit is traveling this time of year but due to covid she is around this year and taking pictures and helping a bit, I dropped a small field today to start the season and unique to this field i have a small adjoining field that is being prepped for discing up and planting this fall, so i had a nice parking lot for some toys :), we make "dry" specialty hay for horses ...the family farm never does anything like dry hay so this is a small piddly hobby operation but fun.

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All of the fields round here just got cut over the past few days and today a friend mentioned the red white and blue wrapped bails that he saw off the highway. Modern haying is something that's fascinated me...and I love looking at the large bales scattered abput in contrast with the environment, particularly in certain lighting.
 

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#4
Tazz,
I am unfamiliar with the term dry hay.
I know that horse hay can't ever have mold, & so needs to be bailed up dry & not get wet.
Is that what you're sayin?
What's your grass mix?
 

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#5
Very nice field of Iron!
 

Silver

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#7
We have an Oasis in the Desert in W.Tx. that has a spring fed canal irrigation system to the farm fields. They used to grow all kinds of food crops when there were plenty of farm laborers available (especially during the Bracero Program), now they grow alfalfa, all mechanized.

Their hay is highly sought after and expensive - the farmer can do everything without hiring labor. Round bails and big square bails loaded with tractors and trucked out.
 

ttazzman

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#8
Tazz,
I am unfamiliar with the term dry hay.
I know that horse hay can't ever have mold, & so needs to be bailed up dry & not get wet.
Is that what you're sayin?
What's your grass mix?
"Dry" hay as i define it is as low moisture as possible and usually means 15% or less (the only hay a horse can tolerate) (it is the traditional form of hay)

"wet" hay is what i call haylage .....that is what most of the large operations went to several years ago since its less sensitive to weather etc.....it is baled at a much higher moisture content and is a form of silage .....it will be plastic wrapped either in single bales or in tubes....since it is exposed to the sun less time it also retains a higher nutrient levels .... its a better way to go for cattle but requires plastic wrapping
 

ttazzman

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#9
Tazz,
I am unfamiliar with the term dry hay.
I know that horse hay can't ever have mold, & so needs to be bailed up dry & not get wet.
Is that what you're sayin?
What's your grass mix?
I planted it as 90% Brome/Timothy Grass...it has a ladino clover in it for a legume but i cut it as high as i can and leave the clover behind mostly as a nitrogen replacer.........that is just about the best mix for pleasure horses.......its in high demand especially for pregnant mares
 

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#10
I 'bucked' bails of hay with some friends one day. "One day"... and not even a whole day.

You got to be buff to do that.

Cool farm you got there ttaz!
 

newmisty

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#12
Stuck my phone out the truck window on the way to work today...

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coopersmith

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Here we call wet hay 'green chop'. Most of it goes to dairies and feedlots here.

Silver I know the place you speak of, swam in the pool many times. I almost bought 20 acres and house just east of balmorea, was going to start a veggie seed farm. then I realized I was getting older, and it started to look like too much work.

Next time we get down that way ill give a holler, and buy you a beer and steak at the brew house in Alpine. I am needing to get my Jan Woodward fix, I miss heck out of that chic. One of the best friends, Trey too, I ever had.

I talked to jan a few weeks ago, the new owner of the ranch wont let me camp on Calamity creek. Fuckers.......... I have caught and ate a shitload of rio grande bass out of that little creek.
 
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Silver

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Here we call wet hay 'green chop'. Most of it goes to dairies and feedlots here.

Silver I know the place you speak of, swam in the pool many times. I almost bought 20 acres and house just east of balmorea, was going to start a veggie seed farm. then I realized I was getting older, and it started to look like too much work.

Next time we get down that way ill give a holler, and buy you a beer and steak at the brew house in Alpine. I am needing to get my Jan Woodward fix, I miss heck out of that chic. One of the best friends, Trey too, I ever had.

I talked to jan a few weeks ago, the new owner of the ranch wont let me camp on Calamity creek. Fuckers.......... I have caught and ate a shitload of rio grande bass out of that little creek.
We've met Jan, she and my wife are now friends and correspond. Definitely get in touch when you get out here.

jan.jpg
jan1.jpg
 

Unca Walt

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#17
Well, if you young-uns gonna be talking hay harvesting, I remember my job was to make sure no loose hay fell off the wagon being pulled by Chigger.

The men would pitchfork the loose hay onto the wagon. The loose hay had been rolled by that roundy-comb thingy pulled by Chigger the day before.

Hayrake.
 

ttazzman

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#19
we got up that little field today...yeilded 100 bales to the acre ....since the female unit was home i put her in the baler and i did the rakeing ahead of her and picked up behind her several loads.....we finished up the odd areas with a bale basket ......was a beautiful day for it ...i did the picture taking since i had her busy :)

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newmisty

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They're not cutting hay around here yet, still have weather in the 40's at night. It will be another 4 or 5 weeks. Most farming around here is hay. Some wheat. I hadn't heard about dry hay. I suppose the farther North, the less important it is to have dry hay. My neighbors have 10 horses and cut and small bale their own 9 acre field and buy some small bales. Last year it rained when they cut. They turned it over a couple times to dry it and baled it up. Wind is always undoing their tarps and hay is getting rained on but the horses still eat it. It's a chore for the hay farmers to keep the Elk off the bales in the winter and the alfalfa fields in the summer. I noticed they plant most alfalfa close to the interstate and residences where Elk seldom dare to go. About 85% of the hay here is non-irrigated, single cut per year. Generally quite a bit less than 100 bales per acre.
 

ttazzman

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They're not cutting hay around here yet, still have weather in the 40's at night. It will be another 4 or 5 weeks. Most farming around here is hay. Some wheat. I hadn't heard about dry hay. I suppose the farther North, the less important it is to have dry hay. My neighbors have 10 horses and cut and small bale their own 9 acre field and buy some small bales. Last year it rained when they cut. They turned it over a couple times to dry it and baled it up. Wind is always undoing their tarps and hay is getting rained on but the horses still eat it. It's a chore for the hay farmers to keep the Elk off the bales in the winter and the alfalfa fields in the summer. I noticed they plant most alfalfa close to the interstate and residences where Elk seldom dare to go. About 85% of the hay here is non-irrigated, single cut per year. Generally quite a bit less than 100 bales per acre.
if horses eat it its "dry" hay ....mold is a real problem for horses and hay baled above 18%+/- moisture will develop a white mold that can be a problem...at higher moisture contents a black mold will form that can be fatal to horses and in most cases they just wont eat it........cows will eat just about anything.....

haylage or "wet" hay around here is usually alfalfa and is baled about 30% moisture then wrapped in plastic so it ferments like silage....our weather is so humid compared to your climate it can be very difficult to make good dry (horse) hay here ...this year in the month of may we averaged 1/2" for every day of the month .....we will normally get 2 or more cuttings off the fields but yields drop substantially with each cutting
 

newmisty

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#24
if horses eat it its "dry" hay ....mold is a real problem for horses and hay baled above 18%+/- moisture will develop a white mold that can be a problem...at higher moisture contents a black mold will form that can be fatal to horses and in most cases they just wont eat it........cows will eat just about anything.....

haylage or "wet" hay around here is usually alfalfa and is baled about 30% moisture then wrapped in plastic so it ferments like silage....our weather is so humid compared to your climate it can be very difficult to make good dry (horse) hay here ...this year in the month of may we averaged 1/2" for every day of the month .....we will normally get 2 or more cuttings off the fields but yields drop substantially with each cutting
So if the bales are those big round ones wrapped in plastic sitting there for days or weeks it's destined for cows not horses right?
 

engineear

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#25
Here we call wet hay 'green chop'. Most of it goes to dairies and feedlots here.

Silver I know the place you speak of, swam in the pool many times. I almost bought 20 acres and house just east of balmorea, was going to start a veggie seed farm. then I realized I was getting older, and it started to look like too much work.

Next time we get down that way ill give a holler, and buy you a beer and steak at the brew house in Alpine. I am needing to get my Jan Woodward fix, I miss heck out of that chic. One of the best friends, Trey too, I ever had.

I talked to jan a few weeks ago, the new owner of the ranch wont let me camp on Calamity creek. Fuckers.......... I have caught and ate a shitload of rio grande bass out of that little creek.
Alpine? Arizona? If so, tell me where that brew house is and I'll head on over...down old route 666/The devil's backbone? Now it's route 91 or 93...iirc.
 

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if horses eat it its "dry" hay ....mold is a real problem for horses and hay baled above 18%+/- moisture will develop a white mold that can be a problem...at higher moisture contents a black mold will form that can be fatal to horses and in most cases they just wont eat it........cows will eat just about anything.....

haylage or "wet" hay around here is usually alfalfa and is baled about 30% moisture then wrapped in plastic so it ferments like silage....our weather is so humid compared to your climate it can be very difficult to make good dry (horse) hay here ...this year in the month of may we averaged 1/2" for every day of the month .....we will normally get 2 or more cuttings off the fields but yields drop substantially with each cutting
We get about 12" total annual precipitation. Some years we get 1/2" around 4th July, then nothing until the snow flies.
Neighbor told me he salts the hay if it's too wet.
Around here about half the large round bales get stored in barns. I noticed on the East side of the continental divide no hay is stored in barns......less rain and cow country. Western Montana is horse country.
 

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That is twice I heard of that. Do you have any details on what that procedure might be?
In his case it's all small squares and he said he sprinkles it on between layers.
 

ttazzman

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We get about 12" total annual precipitation. Some years we get 1/2" around 4th July, then nothing until the snow flies.
Neighbor told me he salts the hay if it's too wet.
Around here about half the large round bales get stored in barns. I noticed on the East side of the continental divide no hay is stored in barns......less rain and cow country. Western Montana is horse country.
I have never heard of that.....its common around here for the large producers to have attachements to their balers to spray a Acid product called Crop Saver on the hay during the baleing process usually if the moisture gets above 20% , due to humitity we have aprox. a 6hr window during the day that hay will dehydrate enough to bale (last night we were over 90% humidity by 9pm), we carry moisture probes and have a moisture meter on the tractor/baler to keep track of moisture levels, wet hay will heat up when molding and can burn a barn down ........intresting the issues each climate faces and the solutions
 

ttazzman

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So if the bales are those big round ones wrapped in plastic sitting there for days or weeks it's destined for cows not horses right?
yes......some guys will wrap dry hay for weather storage loss prevention but the hay still will sweat and moisture gather on the inside of the plastic and cause loss and mold which cows can deal with ..... horses can eat the centers out of large round bales like that.....
 

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I have never heard of that.....its common around here for the large producers to have attachements to their balers to spray a Acid product called Crop Saver on the hay during the baleing process usually if the moisture gets above 20% , due to humitity we have aprox. a 6hr window during the day that hay will dehydrate enough to bale (last night we were over 90% humidity by 9pm), we carry moisture probes and have a moisture meter on the tractor/baler to keep track of moisture levels, wet hay will heat up when molding and can burn a barn down ........intresting the issues each climate faces and the solutions
East of the divide is a whole different game, but Western Montana is mostly mountainous so the areas where terrain is suitable for hay farming are small and scattered. That said, the farmers around here are low tech. My neighbor uses equipment made in the 30's and 40's and the next neighbor, who is probably the largest hay producer in this county uses John Deere tractors made in the 70's and 80's.
 

newmisty

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Another rolling shot from the truck.

These are the fields that relax me on my way home from work.

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newmisty

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Took these on the way to work, coming home from work on the opposite side of the street the tractor was out moving bales around and he had one bale on the back for counterbalance. First time I've seen that.

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ttazzman

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Took these on the way to work, coming home from work on the opposite side of the street the tractor was out moving bales around and he had one bale on the back for counterbalance. First time I've seen that.

View attachment 169271 View attachment 169272 View attachment 169273 View attachment 169275
i used to do big round bales......and moved them with a smaller 40hp tractor that weighted less than 4000#......loader would lift them fine ....just didnt have enough junk in the trunk....so thats how i did it....plus you could move 2 at a time....big bales will weight between 500# to 1500# depending on size made it would move up to about 1000# before it got to ass bounceing requireing rear ballast ....
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newmisty

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i used to do big round bales......and moved them with a smaller 40hp tractor that weighted less than 4000#......loader would lift them fine ....just didnt have enough junk in the trunk....so thats how i did it....plus you could move 2 at a time....big bales will weight between 500# to 1500# depending on size made it would move up to about 1000# before it got to ass bounceing requireing rear ballast ....
Makes sense it wasn't that large a tractor. I'm surprised how much the bales changed color over the past couple days.
 

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#36
Farmer left some round bales out last year that he didn't sell. Elk snuck in last winter and hammered them.
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newmisty

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It must have gotten cold last night cuz all the hay bales huddled together... :D

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ttazzman

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