Tuesday, October 25, 2016


The red clover that was planted along with the Marquis wheat grew very well, although it ended up maturing during a very wet Fall.  I was ultimately very pleased with the late date I chose to cut it, October 17.  The next 7 days were dry and there were several sunny days.

Cutting was an experiment.  I tried using my $50 sickle mower (not pictured) and it kept clogging up.  Brian had a rig close by and he came over and cut it for me with a mower conditioner.  This made short work of things.  Interestingly, I don't think the conditioned clover dried faster than the sickle cut clover, possibly even the opposite.

I turned the hay over at least twice, and it dried off nicely.  The first evening I raked was memorably beautiful.

Baling was a story in itself.  Ron came over on Monday at 1:30, completely on schedule, and the first 70 bales came off like clockwork.  Then the baler broke down and we quit for the day.  The next day, October 25, was colder and the remaining hay was not nearly as dry anymore.  Ron contacted me by noon to say the baler could not be fixed in time, so Brian's friend Roberto (whose hay I had spent the morning raking) brought his baler over to finish.  His baler had a lot of trouble with the clover and made very heavy bales, but we got the job done.  The field produced about 120 total bales, 60 per acre.

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