Pairodox gone indie

When I cut the lower hay field earlier this week I recorded some video of the process. I’m not sure how I secured the camera to the tractor last year when I did something similar but I must have done it differently this time around because the camera recorded a tremendous amount of vibration. Because I had one enthusiastic follower indicate that she was looking forward to video of the baling process I have posted last year’s (vibration-free) version here. The clip runs for 9 minutes and there are a number of embedded annotations to keep you glued to the screen and well informed!

12 thoughts on “Pairodox gone indie

  1. The quality of the video is really amazing – and I have a similar question as Maurice: In Austria bales are sealed in plastic sheet (no idea how this is really called – in German or English). Is this also common in the US? I also figured that hay needs to be dried perfectly before wrapping it?

    • Ha ha – I did some “research”… the plastic sheets are silage films, so quite different stuff 🙂 I really need to follow your blog closely to learn something about agriculture.

      • Yes … you are correct. The white film allows the bales to be wrapped while still holding 50-60% of their moisture. The bale is wrapped to make it air tight. Aerobic bacteria use the oxygen and then undergo anaerobic fermentation! Along with sugar, acids are produced and eventually the fermentation stops and leaves the bale essentially pickled! Wrapped bales can last quite a long time if the wrap remains intact. I said to Maurice, in response to one of his comments, that haylage produced in this way smells really, really nice. Though I’d take dry hay, with a bit of vinaigrette, over the fermented stuff any day … the cows love it! The hay we make however is dry – the sheep like it better and don’t do well on the fermented stuff. The horses too can’t tolerate haylage. Making dry hay is, I think, a bit more difficult than making haylage … it requires a bit more finesse I think. We’ll make a farmer out of you yet Elke! D

  2. Two thumbs up for an excellent video … I watched it while doing my rehab exercises this morning. I’ve never seen a round baler in action before. Do you round bale both cuttings?

    • No … we’ll do squares for the second cut. We don’t usually fertilize so the field will only yield two wagons at most. I’m glad you enjoyed the video and that it provided a bit of diversion for you. I take it that the knee is doing well? I really hope so. Thanks for checking in. D

  3. What a great video of the drivers’ interaction with the machinery. It reminds me of how my son attaches his “GoPro” camera to the front of his boat when he is fishing (or uses a tripod!). It’s so much more interesting from that perspective. The fields look amazing! So happy for the past few dry, sunny days here. There is a lot of first cut from all that rain this year.

  4. Very interesting. First time I’ve seen that. Remarkable quality too, despite the bit of vibration which was not really much of a problem; it didn’t prevent the viewer from seeing what needed to be seen. Beautiful piece of land too. Dave – you lead a great life. :>) Hope you had yer sun-screen on. Me, a (former) redhead, would have burned right through in the time you took to make the video. SPF 45 is a good friend :>) Hope the sheep enjoy their din-dins later on down the road. Oh – one thing: you mentioned that you do not need the hay day before baling it. That’s new to me as I’ve grown up thinking that anything but perfectly dry hay is (a) going to rot and not be useful and (b) a potential fire hazard. Could you maybe write a bit more on that sometime if it can be fit in?

    • Either I said something stupid or something was lost in translation. You are correct … the hay we put up needs to be absolutely dry or there is indeed a risk that the stuff will go bad, that mold will grow (and potentially make the sheep ill), or that the barn will burn down! Perhaps what I meant was that the hay would only need to be turned once before it could be baled. We cut on day One and allow the hay to dry. Once the top of the windrow is dry it can be flipped to expose the wet underside … this is done on day two. On day three, in theory at least, both faces of the windrow are dry and you can bale. Sometimes a second turn is warranted but if the weather is fine one turn is enough. Wet hay is VERY BAD hay! The stuff can mold badly and the animals won’t eat it … or if they do it’ll make them sick or cause problems with gestation in breeding animals. If wet hay is baled and put in the barn there is a real risk of FIRE! If the inside of the bale is very wet … bacteria will respire and grow and produce heat as a result of their metabolism. If there are enough wet bales stacked closely together … and little air circulation in the barn enough heat can be generated to set the bales on fire! Yikes. It’s something I used to worry about in the ‘old’ days when I was less experienced. But, it is still something that resides deep in the back of my mind. One important aspect of hay making is knowing when the crop is ready for the baler! Joanna likes to walk the windrows in her bare feet … she listens to the crunch that her steps make and can tell from the ‘feel’ of the hay as well … she’s a genius and I rely on her greatly! D

      • Hey Dave – nothing misinterpreted, just my weird sense of humour. All you had to do was drop the word ‘fermented’ and away it went 🙂 That said, I did find it fascinating. I grew up by the sea and understand it well. Farming, now that’s another thing. Only about 5% of our land is suitable for it (rocky, shallow, turfy and, of course, very sour soil) and our growing season is very short – and punctuated by many cloudy, foggy days. At any rate the hay is in for now so be nice to the baler before putting it away for the next time 🙂

        • You can be sure of that. I’m not sure whether I mentioned in a reply to one of your comments or to one made by another … but major parts for the baler are no longer available from Vermeer dealers. Interestingly though, there are a couple of salvage yards that specialize in collecting aged Vermeer equipment for parts. It works pretty well if you can anticipate a need or aren’t in a rush. You simply get the parts manual out … locate the part number and call the yard. The guys go out and look among the various 605Cs they’ve got to see if any of them has the part I’m looking for – and if they’ve got it they’re usually pretty inexpensive. I’ve purchased hydraulic cylinders, weird springs, bearings and housings, and a few others items. The baler belts are still available from almost any local dealer … I’ve only had to replace two since I’ve had the thing. So … no worries. I’m completely aware that the thing needs lots of TLC all-the-time … and she receives it. [Funny how both fishermen and farmers almost always refer to the large pieces of equipment they depend upon in the feminine.] D

  5. Wow! That’s impressive. Aren’t you afraid of all that machinery? It was very interesting and informative. You’re probably the only college professor who can do such things.

    • I have great respect for all of our machinery. All of the implements can be pretty dangerous and both Joanna and I are always well aware of that. All accidents are bad … but farm accidents are some of the worst. All the locals have some real horror stories to tell. So, to answer your question, ‘yes’ I am afraid of the machinery … but what are you gonna do? Simply be careful and know your limits. D

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