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Swathing vs. windrowing?


 
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Eric Allen
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:57 pm    Post subject: Swathing vs. windrowing? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hey all,

I've just gotten a New Holland 469 Haybine and can't wait to use it this hay season, up until now I've been cutting with a bushhog. My question is I've been looking at the board inside that hinges up and down to swath or row, as well as the thing on the way back that tips up and down to control the hay flow and I want to know which is best and what ar they both for. Does hay dry better swathed or in a windrow? and when do you use each? Thanks for the info,
Eric
 
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Brendon-KS
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Swathing vs. windrowing? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Opinions really vary on what the ideal swath/windrow is. I've worked with guys in Idaho that make tall, narrow windrows in their 2-3 ton alfalfa to prevent bleaching. On the other hand, most serious alfalfa growers in central California insist on a very wide, smooth swath. Their argument is that if you can rake it within a day or two than the bleaching is a moot issue. Either way smoothness of crop flow is extremely important as wads don't dry evenly regardless of the shape of the swath/windrow. My personal opinion is that a wider, thinner swath typically gives better results than a narrow, tall windrow. Of course it results in a swift and forceful rebuttal when I mention this opinion to the Idaho folks!
 
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Leroy
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Swathing vs. windrowing? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Here in Ohio it is wide to get the hay to dry, narrow for putting up as silage.
 
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onefarmer
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Swathing vs. windrowing? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Ditto for Mich
 
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Eric Allen
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Swathing vs. windrowing? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Ahh that's simple enough I'm just baling hay so I'll raise her up. Thanks
 
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Eric Allen
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Swathing vs. windrowing? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My ol N.H. 68 baler doesn't like wads either, last year I mowed with a bush hog that created plenty of them which the rake made worse. Cool I'm glad I might have started some controversy. Thanks I'm impressed with how adjustable this Haybine is, you can really make it work in any conditions.
 
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DiyDave
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:05 am    Post subject: Re: Swathing vs. windrowing? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you have a tedder, leaving a narrow, upright swath, will help the tedding action. If you have no tedder, just let it lay down.
 
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showcrop
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: Swathing vs. windrowing? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Eric Allen wrote:
(reply to post at 18:57:49 02/24/12)


In most of the Northeast we are working on moist ground most of the time. If you lay it down wide you are driving over your swath and pressing it down too deep for the tedder to grab it. Then the rake does grab it so you get wet bunches in your hay. What most do here is put it in a narrow swath, then after 3-8 hours drying of both the ground and the hay, ted it out wide. Then ted again after five hours then again after another five etc. etc. It depends on ground and climate. occasionally the ground dries out enough so that we can do it like you guys out west.
 
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donjr
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:06 am    Post subject: Re: Swathing vs. windrowing? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Here in Maryland, I usually cut the first cutting, which is very heavy, in a swath the first cutting, and windrow the later cuttings. Being wider seems to help dry the first cutting more quickly. But, with the addition of a tedder last year, I have started cutting in the morning in a wide swath, and tedding it within a few hours of cutting, so even the wide windrow gets wider. But I may again tedd it the second day, rake it in mid afternoon and it's often ready to bale by late afternoon, and with little or no bleaching. If you are going to chop it, however, leave it in as narrow a windrow as you can.
 
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Eric Allen
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:10 am    Post subject: Re: Swathing vs. windrowing? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Nope no chopper or tedder just an old horse drawn type rake and a N.H. baler
 
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donjr
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Swathing vs. windrowing? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Flatten it and let it dry for at least three days.
 
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northvale
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: Swathing vs. windrowing? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I use a 469 and spread wide, tedd it within 4 hours and bale it as soon as dry, 2nd full day. The idea is to dry it fast to keep the color. Here in SE PA, we have humidity issues and drying isn't always fast.
 
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