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  1. #1
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    Default alfalfa baling question.

    When I buy alfalfa in the feed store it's always bright green and fresh looking.
    This will only be my second time baling our alfalfa and it's not looking nearly as green on the top of my windrows right now as what I usually buy. On the bottom of the row it's still nice looking. It's just turning a light brown on top. We haven't been rained on thank god.

    I'm just wondering is it possible that stuff from the feed stores is sprayed with something to keep it greener looking? I'm going on my 3rd day of mine laying out in the field and just curious about it. I just checked the bottom of a few of the biggest windrows and it's still kinda soft and wet feeling on the bottom so I'll check again tomorrow afternoon. My neighbor, who has been growing alfalfa a long time told me never to try flipping it with the rake unless absolutely necessary because it knocks too many leaves off. I almost always rake our bermuda every day to dry it down faster.

    What do you all think? Just leave it alone till the whole row is dry top to bottom or should I rake it. My rake is a NH 56 side delivery. Judging by the size of my rows out there I'm looking at close to 300 bales on my little 2 acre alfalfa patch so I'm pretty excited.

    Oh, I have a moister meter in my hay baler that I can monitor in the cab. What is the ideal moisture content while baling for alfalfa.
    I have been shooting for less than 20 in the bermuda but the feed store that buys most of that told me less than 30 is fine. I wonder about that much moisture for any kind of long term storage. My last bosses barn burned down a couple years ago from wet johnson grass hay.

  2. #2
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Default Re: alfalfa baling question.

    Quote Originally Posted by WTA
    When I buy alfalfa in the feed store it's always bright green and fresh looking.
    This will only be my second time baling our alfalfa and it's not looking nearly as green on the top of my windrows right now as what I usually buy. On the bottom of the row it's still nice looking. It's just turning a light brown on top. We haven't been rained on thank god.

    I'm just wondering is it possible that stuff from the feed stores is sprayed with something to keep it greener looking? I'm going on my 3rd day of mine laying out in the field and just curious about it. I just checked the bottom of a few of the biggest windrows and it's still kinda soft and wet feeling on the bottom so I'll check again tomorrow afternoon. My neighbor, who has been growing alfalfa a long time told me never to try flipping it with the rake unless absolutely necessary because it knocks too many leaves off. I almost always rake our bermuda every day to dry it down faster.

    What do you all think? Just leave it alone till the whole row is dry top to bottom or should I rake it. My rake is a NH 56 side delivery. Judging by the size of my rows out there I'm looking at close to 300 bales on my little 2 acre alfalfa patch so I'm pretty excited.

    Oh, I have a moister meter in my hay baler that I can monitor in the cab. What is the ideal moisture content while baling for alfalfa.
    I have been shooting for less than 20 in the bermuda but the feed store that buys most of that told me less than 30 is fine. I wonder about that much moisture for any kind of long term storage. My last bosses barn burned down a couple years ago from wet johnson grass hay.
    Gee. 300 bales at 50 lb each is 15000 lb (7.5 tons) or 3.75 tons/acre. That's spectacular. My neighbor baled his two irrigated 10 acre (actually about 9 acres each because of a road easement) alfalfa fields last week and got about 300 bales, three twine, about 110 lb/bale or about 0.9 ton/acre. Pretty puny results for the time and money he and his partner invested so far in that crop.

    Where are you located? Must be a little bit of heaven. Of course, with the drought and wildfires here in the North Sacramento Valley, almost anywhere looks better for haying and pasturing. Nealy 100% of our native pasture land has sunk to the "poor" category according to the USDA.

    He showed me his windrows just before baling. The top was dry, but the inside was pale green and moist. Don't know what the moisture content was when he started baling, but he did it early in the morning.

    He's continued to irrigate and his stand now looks much thicker that previously. He plans to cut/bale again in early August. Looks like he'll do better then judging by the looks of the stand.

  3. #3
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Default Re: alfalfa baling question.

    Do you get any amout of dew overnight? If so rake it over when there is a dew on it and you won't lose as many leaves. I am blessed with plenty of moisture In fact I just used the tedder on my alfalfa this morning to help knock the dew off and stir the alfalfa (keep the rpm's low so it only stirs the alfalfa, you don't lose too many leaves this way but it does wonders for drying).

    Tomorrow I will rake it over and bale it Monday.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  4. #4
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    Default Re: alfalfa baling question.

    We had a real heavy dew and fog the night I cut it. I guess that was the reason the top turned brown like it did. Thankfully I only cut half. I cut the other half a couple days ago and it is drying down a lot nicer. I did go and rake it all yesterday. I went real slow with my old rake an it didn't look like it knocked off hardly any leaves. It should all be ready to bale tonight.

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