It was a long and an actual productive day. Some days are just long and head pounding, but even though it was a head pounder we managed to get things going and got it done! I had the round baler hooked up and ready from the night before and had started up the tractor and was headed out to bail when Mr Professional showed up and wanted to work on the old John Deere 336 square baler we purchased the night before. I had plans on testing the weld job on the Italian M50 round baler. Four hours later after some blood, a lot of swearing, cleaning and grease application we had managed to get it move all its parts. Surprisingly it was in great shape and had obviously been serviced four years ago when it was sold last. The only thing left to do was to actually try and make a bale with it. I cut through the side of the fields but Mr Professional had to go around with the big baler.
I was able to make round bales! The weld held and I was baling the outer rows and the rows down by the spring. Mr Professional showed up and started to feed loose grass into the baler, it made a couple of squares but it was only tying one side. He had me stop and help, this was slowing production!! An hour later, a lot more swearing and yelling and finger pointing we had figured out how to adjust the bale tension, we had to turn a ceramic grommet that had a groove cut into it by the constant string flow, it was causing a binding point and breaking the string, we also had to adjust the string tension. More bales, less bale tension and now the big loud green machine was only tying one knot on one side of both strings, even worse than a single good string. More reading of the manual, much more swearing and finger pointing and interpretation with more swearing. Me finally telling Mr Professional to adjust it like the manual says and I am gonna go bale or we are not ever going to make hay. He made some adjustments to the tying portion, which is fairly mechanically complicated and was making bales!! I had to jump off once and adjust bale tension again. The first 50 bales are a little lopsided. We are pretty sure its from not having enough feed material to make the bales.
Mr Professional went down to field #3 to bale, I worked on the dregs in #2, I sheared a shear bolt and realized how much I hate relearning to change them out and dug out the jam. When it jammed in the same place again 6 minutes later I gave up, dumped the partial bale and went to get the sickle mower. I had to move bales on my way out of the field and spotted a very angry 3 foot snake curled up and ready to strike. It did not appreciate at getting ran over by the baler! We parted ways amicably but I was unable to get a picture, it kept sneaking under the grass clumps. I needed to cut anyways and the big green beast was chewing through the downed hay.
I cut the rest of field #2 and then moved onto the one small portion of #3 that I had not cut, about an acre. Unfortunately or fortunately, however you fill your glass, the grass is very tall! I was very careful to cut next to the spring runoff so I didn’t end up in the stream. The second pass though you drive on the already cut grass and I managed to get a little too close to the bank and fell into it with the tractor! I did not tip it over, it just ended up very sideways. Mr Professional came and pulled me out and I was back at it fairly quickly. Annmarie and Sarah came down to see my calamity, there was some discussion as to why I did not line each side of the stream with pecker poles like I did in field #2 (the one I buried the tractor in last year). I had marked a wide marshy area but not the running stream. The grass has never looked this good before!! I can usually tell where the stream is and avoid it. So now I need to buy some more poles and drive them in on both sides of the stream. Annmarie was taking pictures of my sideways action and discussing the poles when she fell into the stream. She didn’t see the edge!! Sarah and I did finally go pull her out!
I started cutting the neighbors field until 2200. We should get the rest of the field cut on Sunday.