Sunday, June 20, 2010

So hay madness...

Turned into maddening hay. First the weather around here has been really goofy, cold and wet. But I had a window to get all the neighbors hay cut. So I went for it. Swather worked for a while, then I "tinkered" and broke the starter solenoid, so I had to break out the 5' disc cutter. No biggie, new solenoid is on order and the disc cutter is as fast as the swather.

One step down.

Next is the raking, which went really well. The 50 year old Massey Ferguson 25 I bought raked like a beast, just like earlier in the season. Man I am on a roll.

Two steps down.

To bad I stopped rolling down the hill by hitting a wall at the bottom :)

Then I fired up the baler this weekend to get some of those green cubes made and stack. This did not work so well. Despite a pile of new parts and a fair amount of adjusting, my baler makes 3 bales then two blobs, 2 more bales, 3 blobs, a bale, 2 blobs, 3 bales, etc. Not a recipe for success. So I make a panicked call to my farming buddy down the road, check the weather (looks like rain) and hope maybe after fathers day I can borrow a baler and get this cutting over with.

Well first, no rain came. All weekend it blew to the East AND West of me. 3/4" in an hour less than 3 miles to my west. Torrential downpour 7 miles to West. Radar looked like a giant hand was parting the ran as it moved up from the south. Make of it what you will, but with rain predicted at 60%, I'm still dry as are my neighbors who's hay is on the ground.

Figure I'll call the Newholland dealer and see if a mechanic can get my beast working, if not they have two units in stock that will do the job. It's just money right? In a way it is just money, with a "real" job 6 kids and my spouse I don't want to spend my life monkeying around with equipment I don't fully understand.

Tractors? Easy.
Cars? Child's play.
Rakes? Hydraulics? Elementary.

Balers? Designed by Satan himself. Pure genius in design, fairly simple in construction and infuriating to learn to adjust, tweak, tune and maintain. I may have finally met a machine I simply don't have the time or inclination to master maintaining on my own. Part of it is the simple frustration that to test it, I have to have crop to bale. By then it's a little late to figure out it's not working and I cannot figure out how to fix it.

So I'm bringing in the the bale mechanic or sales man. Visa, take me away.

I figured maybe I can get those bales up in a week or so. Sigh.

But then....tonight the phone rings. My buddy who I called in a panic. Long and the short of it is, he's going to try raking my hay in one field, tedding hay (fluffing) in the others and then baling and stacking the whole shebang. Did I mention that the hydraulic pump on my ancient harrow bed (bale collector/stacker) is trying to die on me too? I don't mind picking up bales by hand, but power tools are sure nice.

On top of all of this weeks drama, I've been waffling between cursing my busted implements and blaming anyone who I could think of and thanking God for an opportunity to work on my patience. Without help and time, there is simply nothing I can do. I cannot magic my baler into working. I cannot stop the hay from getting rained on. In the midst of what is probably the longest two weeks I have had in recent memory (more than just the hay...all kind of stuff is going south, hitting at the same time) here is a friend calling to help me out.

He has every reason in the world to take some time off now that his hay is caught up. He's been seriously ill (and no doubt exhausted), and is constantly overworked. He can probably come up with something better to do than bail out (pun intended) his newbie farming buddy down the road. But there he is. Even when he could have a 1000 reasons (not just excuses) blow me off, here he comes anyway.

Thanks Robin.

1 comment: