So far, so good

If you compare yesterday’s forecast below with the one I posted two days ago, you will see that the weather held for haymaking.

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I spent the day raking and, because the crop was so heavy, I’ll probably do so again today and then bale tomorrow. If everything goes well this plan will give me Monday to transport bales to the barn where they’ll be stored out of the weather. The photo shows what raking is all about. The windrows on the left show you what the hay looks like as it exits the haybine (cutter/crimper). Once the field is cut you’ve got to wait a day or so for the tops of those windrows to dry. You can see that the rake rolls the windrow and flips it so that the dried side is down and the damp side is up. If you look closely you will notice that the rows yet-to-be-turned (on the left) are a lighter green while the turned rows (on the right) are somewhat darker. This is because the former are dried on top while the latter now have their wet sides uppermost. Once these surfaces are dry the field may be baled. But there is heavy dew to contend with this morning and that will need to dissipate before any further drying of the crop may occur. Baling wet hay is bad news; it can choke your baler, foster the growth of mold which can make your animals ill, and support bacterial growth which can, under the right conditions, generate enough heat to set the bale on fire! Like all things in life, making dry hay requires lots and lots of patience.

rake

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