When it comes to hay equipment to help you Be Ready for the upcoming growing season, we have some great resources within Case IH who are anxious to assist you. Brett DeVries, Case IH Hay and Forage Marketing Manager, is our guest blogger this week and shares insight into high-productivity equipment to help you get maximum hay yields.
When it’s time to harvest hay, time is of the essence. Weather is unpredictable, and the crop’s value can quickly decrease, so equipment must be reliable. There’s no time for equipment breakdowns to delay the process.
For commercial hay producers in the Western United States, the rule of thumb is to be able to get hay cut and baled in three to four days. On irrigated land, they need to get the crop off as quickly as possible in order to continue to irrigate and stay on schedule, thus optimizing the number of cuttings.
To keep on schedule, it’s important to have high-productivity equipment. Case IH cutting, conditioning raking and baling equipment can be tailored to individual operations and needs. We offer steel-on-steel or rubber-on-rubber conditioning rolls, a flail conditioner and high-contact rolls. The chevron design on the rolls helps evenly spread the material across the full width of the windrow so you get better, more uniform dry-down.
Setting conditioning rolls correctly reduces mechanical resistance of the moisture leaving the plant. The stem needs to be cracked every 3 to 4 inches to open routes for water to exit the plant.
Mechanical conditioning also improves drying rate because the period of time to get the optimum moisture content is shortened.
Thank you, Brett. To see this high-productivity equipment first hand, visit your Case IH dealer and take advantage of the great offers on the full line of Farmall®, Puma® and Maxxum® tractors, as well as balers, mower conditioners and windrowers through the Case IH Field of Deals sales event that is running now through April 30, 2012.
What is most important to you to ensure hay harvest is not delayed? Do you use mechanical conditioning to speed dry-down? How has it worked for you? Comment below. We’d love to hear from you!