Raking moves the properly dried hay into windrows ready for the baling process.
The rotating springs of the baler head collect and feed the dry hay from the windrows into the baler. Tight, compact, string-tied bales are automatically directed from the baler into the Bale Bandit which collects 21 bales of hay, packs them into a cube, secures the cube with 2 metal bands, and then kicks the cube of 21 bales into the field for pickup and storage. The tractor, baler and Bale Bandit work as a unit - baling, banding and dropping the cubes without a need for the tractor to stop. The process, including the moisture content of the hay, is monitored on computers in the tractor.
The first step in providing quality hay is growing the grass. Fields are prepared and planted with the proper selection of seed mix to assure that the hay will contain the correct types and ratios of grasses. Care is taken to control weeds and to ensure that the needed nutrients are provided to the growing grasses. A properly managed field can often produce hay for several years.
The 21 bale cubes are picked up in the field by a specialized "gripper," loaded onto flatbed trailers, and transported to large barns where the hay is stored while it awaits shipment. The hay is delivered in commercial enclosed semi-trailers to wholesale and retail customers and large horse-related businesses on the East Coast of the US from Virginia to Florida.
Fint Hay Farms
The tedder fluffs the drying hay allowing more air to circulate in the grass, resulting in faster drying.
After the hay has grown to maturity, the grass is cut and conditioned (crushed and/or crimped) to encourage the hay to dry faster and be softer.