Monday, August 18, 2014

Hay Two Ways

When the hay is ready and the weather is cooperating, it's all hands on deck to get the crop in. 

This is the tractor that I drive. I am pulling the baler which makes square bales.

This is my view while driving the tractor. The light colored stripes on the field is the hay (alfalfa) which has already been cut down into rows. The hay typically lays for a couple days to dry before being baled.

While I am driving the baler, John is picking up the bales using a New Holland Automatic Bale Wagon. Watch the video below to see how it works. I think it is amazing and it sure beats handling all those hay bales by hand like we used to do when John and I were kids!

After the bales are picked up from the hay field, John drives the bale wagon into the hay shed where the bales, with the flip of a lever, are automatically unloaded into a neat pile.

These square bales are fed to our calves and younger cattle. Square bales, which are 16" x 16" x 32" are more convenient and easier for us to bring to the barns where these animals live. We feed about 75 square bales per week. 
We also make large round bales.

Round bales are 4 feet by 4 feet, and are used to feed our cows. Because of their size, they are brought in from the field in a different way. Take a look.

We use about 20 round bales per week. They are stored in another hay barn until they are used.

We are in the process of completing our third crop of hay. We can typically  harvest our hay crop 3-4 times during its growing season. It takes about 30 days for alfalfa to grow to be ready for another cutting. It is a really satisfying feeling knowing that when we are finished we will have quality feed for our animals.

When we are not making hay, milking cows, or doing other farm chores, we are counting down to the Minnesota State Fair
Only 3 more days! See you there!

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