Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Haying time

finished up with the raking
I really, really hate the time of year when Cliff is mowing, raking, and baling hay.  He is always so on-edge during the whole two- or three-day process that I fear he will have a heart attack with the stress of it all.  Other than the weather, the main cause of his distress is the fact that we use old, worn-out equipment.  We only have 40 acres and a few cows, so obviously we can't afford thousands of dollars for up-to-date machinery.  
Cliff sold our old string-tie John Deere 14-T baler a year or two ago because he's too old to be trying to lift and toss square bales (they're oblong, but they are properly called square).  The old baler was more worn-out than most, but he knew it like a book, and dealt with it just fine.  This spring he saw the opportunity to buy a wire-tie baler for a reasonable price and bought it, figuring to re-sell it and make a little money.  
With the alfalfa-mix hay cured, thanks to temperatures in the 90's and a stiff wind, he decided to try it out and see how well it worked.  "Maybe," he said, "I'll just do a few small bales for the times we want to hand-feed a calf or something."   
 The first bale that came out was about the length of two bales.  Cliff got off the tractor, checked it out, and then realized it was like that because it was the first bale out.  

Because he had been looking back to see that bale before he stopped, he let too much hay go into the baler and spent about ten minutes pulling all that out.  

That's no smile on his  face, it's a grimace.  This is his first time working with a wire-tie baler.

  The wires on the bales were too tight, so he had to crank that thing to make them looser.  

Yeah, there's one on each side.  They were hard to turn because they needed to be greased, and Cliff didn't think to bring the &%#$*^@% grease to the field.  When he's haying, he says "&%#$" a lot.

I wish I could tell you he got everything working right, but the rusty old 1655 that was pulling the baler died.  Cliff declared there wasn't time to mess with it and went and got the Mahindra and the big round baler. 
He has to climb off the tractor each time a bale is done to help the baler tie twine around it.  But at least he can get the hay baled, if the heat and stress don't do him in.  



I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

With all that exercise and the heat, I'm thinking he's going to one sore guy tonight. Glad you got the sunshine though.


That's a lot of hard work. Good luck getting it all done.

Margaret said...

My husband always said that working her farm kept his mom healthy and strong for a long time. It's a LOT of effort, but way better than just sitting around watching TV. Sorry about the equipment; that would be frustrating.