No rest for the wicked (or farmers)

After work on Thursday I needed to finish haying, the real problem is I have been awake since 0400 and am not highly motivated at this point. The trouble is I know if I don’t go out and do it then it may not get done. So after dinner and after dishes I went outside to go bale more hay in field #2. We need to get the dried grass off of the field so that we can do a second cutting. Both field #1 & #2 will be ready to cut again in two weeks. There has been so much hay and it has been such a hassle to put it all up with this microhay equipment. I finally just gave up on getting field #3 finished.

I will go down and push all of the rows together to form 3-4 large rows down the middle of the field and we are just going to leave them. When we let the animals up later in the summer they can dig through the piles and eat whatever they want. We did the same thing after the flood two years ago and the animals will tear it up and eat whatever they want. There is just not time to do it all. We have talked about bigger hay equipment but currently we don’t want to spend a bunch of money. So we are going to fix the old John Deere baler we got last year this fall and see if we can get it repaired and ready for next year.

I got on the John Deere little tractor and went out with my Italian M50 baler and baled in the dark. I managed to bale four tons in about 4.5 hours. This is dang good speed and not normal. I did not break a single shear bolt and everything went incredibly smoothly. The grass was very thick so the bales formed quickly. Mr Professional had to pull another two links out of main baler chain and we have worn down some of the gear teeth. I tried to order new sprockets and Ohio based company did not have them, they were literally on a slow boat from Italy in a shipping container headed their way. I kept looking on the internet in the hopes I would find somebody in this country who would have parts for an Abbriata M50 minibaler. I found a new baler for sale in Oregon! So I called up the dealer, then the parts dept, got a hold of a very helpful parts person who had no idea they were selling a Sitrex baler. In the pictures it looked like my Abbriatta with a different name. I gave him my Abbriatta parts numbers and he sent that to his parts supplier who sent it to Italy and the next day Italy has the parts! Mind you the Sitrex parts catalog was identical to the Abbriatta! So the slow boat plan is still in progress. I will keep looking and hoping that the internet will find me someone in the United States.

I stayed out until 0200 baling, came in and cleaned up, went to bed and was up by 0830 to get out and mow some more hay at the neighbors. He had volunteered to allow us to cut a couple of his small fields. But before I could go out and cut hay I had to fill up tractor with hydraulic fluid, grease entire tractor and sickle bar mower. But to grease sickle bar I had to install a new grease zirk and then change out the grease gun head to be able to add a ninety degree head. I had to tighten the bolts on the mower and ended up installing the hydraulic lines backwards so the control for up/down was reversed. I did not bother to change the hoses so I spent the next three hours cussing it the entire time. While mowing the neighbor’s field I ended up having to pick a few tractor bucket fulls of rocks due to all of the rocks in the field. I had to to go around in patches to cut the good stuff and left the bad weedy areas. I will come back after I am all done and just run the flail mower over the entire field.

I came home and wife talked me into going to town for the farmers market. When we came back I took a 30 minute nap on the front porch and then spent another 30 minutes convincing myself that I really did need to go outside and do more work. I did get up and go turn hay in field #3 in the dark for three more hours.