The first day of Farm Progress Hay Expo was perfect for making hay. That might have kept some producers – who were hungry to get hay put up at home – at bay, but the event posed an excellent opportunity to see firsthand the latest in hay and forage equipment. Did you attend Hay Expo or were you in the field, trying to get hay up?
Brett DeVries, Case IH Hay & Forage Marketing Manager, was on hand to talk about Case IH’s full line of cutting, conditioning, raking and baling equipment. We caught up with him at one of the many equipment demonstrations.
Q: How are equipment innovations helping producers try to work around Mother Nature?
A: Weather is a concern with any crop, but with hay, it can be even more challenging because of the extended field drying time often required. Producers are looking for any advantages that will help them go faster, takes a wider swath or helps them take advantage of dry down efficiencies. They are seeking cutting equipment that can help them go faster and conditioning systems that crush and/or crimp the moisture out of the plant stems so they dry faster. A common trend right now is creating wider windrows to spread the hay out after it’s conditioned, again for faster drying. Case IH balers can create a bale per minute, whereas our competition can do a bale every 1.5 minutes. That 30 seconds can make or break a grower’s purchasing decision.
Q: What type of baling do producers seem to prefer?
A: Baler demand is strongest for the traditional round baler. This is because producers who buy those balers are usually owner/operators, and their handling and feeding equipment are already tailored to fit large round bales. Producers looking to ship hay or have indoor storage seem to gravitate towards the large square balers. Customer baling operations and large dairies often prefer large square bales.
This is the first season for the Case IH LB4 baler, and it was on display at Hay Expo. Learn more about it in our next post.