We’ve all been out there making hay in 84 degree heat at 9am. It’s summer and it’s time to get choring. Depending on where you live in the world, that heat will linger even longer into the year. So, how do you get your hay bales finished and not pass out from heat exhaustion? Small Farm Innovations has a few tips.
Many people have their own formula and related work process for making the most hay. Some wait until later in the year, while others cut it a little early. One thing that happens across the board is everyone hates cutting hay in the summer heat. To answer the question, a farmer can make the most hay when he can let it grow to maturity and cut in time to dry in the sun.
The best time for making hay and hay baling is whenever you can get it done. The overall goal is making sure that you get the hay baling done. Beyond that, it’s making sure your hay has the best nutritional value when cut. Cut it to early and leave it to bake in the sun exposed for weeks and risk developing bacteria.
If you cut it early and aren’t ready to use or sell hay, then it’s best advised to store the hay in a cool shelter. Even then, moisture levels remain a concern. Hay Bales hold a certain degree of heat. When the bales get too dry, you get bacteria. When the bales get too wet, you get bacteria. It might feel like you can’t win.
But when you have proper storage, any time can be the best time for baling efforts.
Round Bales what you tend to get from a hay baler. The process to wrap it in twine and spit it out has been fairly typical for decades. However, round bales while containing heat, also tends to fix where that potential dry spot spreads.
Square bales tend to be used for more agribusiness ventures. Things like pumpkin patches and live events. Round Bales tend to work better for feeding livestock because they have less exposure to the elements and less of a chance to develop bacteria. After all, you don’t want to feed your animals material that will get them sick.
Square bales are way more open and exposed to the elements, so their shelf life remains quite low. That doesn’t mean you can’t make square bales, it’s just that they aren’t ideal for long term deployment.
Hot weather can stretch beyond the months associated with summer labor. A lot of farmers won’t bale hay during extreme heat due to high leaf loss. Others will have trouble finding seasonal help to get it done.
The best advice for feeling sick in the heat is to seek the advice of your family physician or immediate care. But, do you know the signs of possible heat exhaustion?
Basically, whatever you do with your efforts…do it safe. There are so many factors that can impact your work depending on everything from temperature to storage and even usage. The best way to maximize your efforts is just to be aware of everything that can go wrong. If you take the time to find what works best for you, then you’re going to produce your best work.
A small hay baler is the key to running a sustainable small farm. But, how do you know if you bought the right small hay baler? At Small Farm Innovations, we deal in the smaller farm equipment designed to utilize your smaller farming range. But, smaller doesn’t mean less. It means that you are making the most of your abilities and taking up less room.
Compact balers are the name of the game at Small Farm Innovations. But, what makes a compact baler matter so much for those working on small farms? Small farm equipment lends itself to compact balers because they maximize space and fit perfectly to smaller farm work. That doesn’t mean less, it means having to navigate tighter spaces.
Compact tractors are typically categorized between 15 to 25 horsepower. While those get called sub-compact currently, there are bigger units that reach up to 45 horsepower. They both offer major level tractor versatility, but they don’t leave the impact of a bigger machine. That means less clutter and less of a change to destroy rows and soil on your small farm.
The Square Baler is what most people imagine when discussing small farm equipment. They are consistent little machines that are easier to navigate through a smaller field. Plus, they tend to stay closer to the price range of a small farmer. They’re even affordable for the hobby farmer trying to clear their lawn before Winter arrives.
You can typically get 100 square bales per acre with a square baler. For the average small farmer, that will be enough to get them through a season. But, what about the other needs facing your small farm?
The sickle bar mower has been around for ages. In fact, Small Farm Innovations has talked at length about the sickle bar mower before now. Who doesn’t want a specialized tractor attachment that can mow down irregular areas? Nobody’s farm land is perfectly flat, so this is a tool to deploy if you have multiple trouble spots that need taken down.
Hay Rakes are another piece of small farm equipment to consider. On small farms, hay can be a big concern. A hay rake collects the hay and straw you cut down by making it into windrows. The process fluffs up the hay and turns it to help dry it. Most small farmers use it in the evening to get it ready before the morning.
Tedders also need to be considered. They turn over loose hay and help spread it out. They don’t use much horsepower, as they tend to get pulled behind a tractor. Plus, PTO adaptors can be found to help aid with their use. It’s a win-win all around.
Disc mowers also come into play when dealing with small farm equipment. They give clean cuts on the roughest of grounds. Ideally, they will be used for cutting through thick grass and other materials. Not every small farm will need this, but the more rural locations will thrive with a disc mower.
Used haying equipment also is a must-have part of small farm equipment. After baling your own hay is cost-effective and it means overall independence. When you own your own compact hay baler equipment, you end up putting more of your acreage to work. No more pastures being left unattended and unmanageable.
Farm innovation depends on small farm equipment. For small scale farmers are increasing at record numbers and they have to find new ways to develop their land. Keep reading Small Farm Innovations, as we discuss more opportunities and equipment that will aid your farming business.
The Model M100 PTO Adapter is Small Farms Innovations’ hassle-free PTO Adapter. If you have ever used a PTO adapter in the past, you have an idea of what they can do. But the real power of a PTO adapter is in the convenience it can provide. Have you had to attach a trailer in subzero temperatures at 5:00 a.m. with numb fingers? A Model M100 PTO Adapter might have come in handy.
This PTO Adapter is rated for 125 HP. The ability to handle this much power means that the M100 PTO Adapter will help extend the life of a tractor’s PTO shaft. That means having more seasons of being able to attach any implement to your tractor. Having that much time saved makes you more efficient in a time where every advantage counts. But what makes this tool so advantageous?
The M100’s innovative design boasts several key features to take the hassle out of your daily farm work.
To use it, simply attach it to your tractor’s PTO, remove the lynch pins, pull off the male end, slide it into the PTO shaft, align the two arbors, slide the two units together, and reinstall the lynch pins. Watch our helpful tutorial video to see installation in action.
Helpful Tip: Lynch pins are notorious for getting lost. If you lose one, replace it with a ½” coarse-thread cap screw.
The Model M100 PTO Adapter is compatible with most USA-made tractors. If you’re not quite sure, feel free to contact Small Farms Innovations to confirm if your tractor will work well with the Model M100 PTO. All questions are welcome as Small Farms is focused on making sure you have the best Ag experience possible.
As you browse Small Farm Innovations, take a moment to compare our various products that can improve your work. The Model M100 PTO Adapter is about making your job more efficient. Who doesn’t want to spend less time doing busy work in the dark or the cold? A successful business life is about doing what you can to make a profit without wasting time.
The Model M100 PTO Adapter is an exciting evergreen offering from your friends at Small Farm Innovations. Consider this, if you might not currently have an urgent need for implement and towing help. The M100 is one of several innovative products that can extend the life of your equipment to keep your farm running smoothly. If you have any questions, stop by the site and contact us. We love to help small farms succeed and thrive.
The sickle bar mower is a lightweight add-on for your tractor that is designed to mow any irregular landscape. In a world where farms do not exist on perfectly level tracts of land, this is quite handy. If you haven’t considered picking up a sickle bar mower, now might be the perfect time.
It’s a little-known fact that the sickle bar mower was the first mechanical mower in history. The design has not changed much over the decades, except we’ve now replaced horses for tractors. Outside of a change in power source, the sickle bar mower of 2020 is nearly the same as it was 100 years ago.
Disc mowers may have cornered the market, but that doesn’t mean there is not a market for the sickle bar mower. Some are quick to poke fun at the older design, but the sickle bar allows for amazing control and has some distinct advantages over disc mowers.
Certain farming groups will dispute the crop damage issue. But are they paying for you to replace your mower’s cutting head? Couple that with the unique challenges your farmland provides, and the benefits of the sickle bar mower become apparent.
The sickle bar mower does have one notable downside.
The blade is exposed a lot more than that of newer model mowers. This requires frequent resharpening the mower blades. It is not the worst thing in the world, but it consumes a good chunk of time.
But you are a farmer. Managing time is your strong suit. The extra attention might not be an ideal situation for everyone, but the payoff comes into play where disc mowers cannot reach.
Ultimately, it all boils down to what you need to achieve. If you are looking to make hay with less of the crop left behind and less damage to your land, then this mower has your back. However, if you want to cut grass fast and aren’t worried about the quality of the trimmings, then a disc mower is your speedy friend.
Small Farm Innovations carries 3 models of Compact Sickle Bar Mowers. These simple machines are perfect for sub-compact tractors. They have a reciprocating guard to prevent clogs and can even cut vertically if needed. While they include a hydraulic lift, they’re light enough to be lifted by hand.
Visit our website for more information, specs, and videos. We carry a wide variety of mowers, balers, rakes, wrappers, and other equipment to make your hay harvest easier. Let Small Farm Innovations help you make hay while the sun shines.