The baling process seems to be an important part of making hay, whether farmers are trying to feed a few animals on the farm or ensure that large herds have enough food to last through the long winter months.
Hay farming can be done in many ways, so we decided to give some general tips that can be used before, during, and after baling hay. Here are some things you should remember:
Get the field ready for baling.
Before going out into the fields to bale hay, farmers must ensure their windows are the right width. This is very important to consider if you use round balers. The best width for the windrows is the same as (or slightly larger than) the baler pickup. The hay can then be put into the baler, spreading it evenly across the bale. If the windows aren’t wide enough, the hale bale will be thicker in the middle than on the sides when it’s bundled.
Determine the kind of bale and necessary tools
Before buying new equipment or taking it out of storage, producers should decide what kind of bales they want to make. There are many different sizes, but only two basic shapes: square and round. Square bales are great for storing in sheds and garages because they are small, easy to move, and easy to handle. Round bales are great for farmers who need to feed many animals. Most square balers come in two different styles: those that are set back from the tractor and those that are set up right behind the tractor. Most people prefer balers with an offset design because it’s easy to keep an eye on the crop as it goes into the baler. When making a round bale, it’s best to use baling equipment that makes a tight, dense, well-shaped bale. Look for a baler with a wide, low-slung pickup and closely spaced teeth if you want to lose a few leaves.
Pay attention to humidity levels.
If moisture levels aren’t carefully watched before and while baling, mold could grow in the bundles. Mold will grow on the hay and ruin the bale if the weather is warm. The right amount of moisture content for each type of baler is different. The best moisture level is usually around 15% if a round, hard-core baler is used. For rectangular bales to work best, the amount of moisture should be between 12 and 16 percent. Read on for more information, or use the chart to make things easier.
Adjust pickup height
It is important to adjust the ground clearance on the hay baler pickup mechanism. Too low of an adjustment could cause the teeth to touch the ground, where they could be thrown up by pebbles, dirt, and other debris. But hay will fall on the floor if the machine is set too high. To ensure the operator is safe and gets the most hay, finding the right height (tooth just over the ground) is important.
Putting hay in bales takes time and work, but it might not be worth it if it is not stored right. Hay must be kept inside, away from the weather, for as long as possible. But bales can be kept outside as well. The best way to keep hay from going bad during a harsh winter is to pack it very tightly (particularly the upper layer). When you pack the hay bale tightly, it makes it less likely to soak up water. If you plan to store your hay outside, John Deere B-Wrap may help keep it from getting damaged by the weather.
Maintain baling equipment
After the hay has been baled, the people in charge should do preventive maintenance checks to keep workers safe and make the equipment more reliable. As part of hay baling machine maintenance, broken parts should be fixed or replaced, moving parts should be checked and oiled, and safety features should be checked.