With temperatures beginning to rise across the country, we can’t help but contain our excitement as it can mean only one thing: hay season is upon us!
While we know many of you—ourselves included—have been waiting months to catch that first whiff of fresh cut hay, now is the time to start laying the groundwork to make this hay season the best one yet.
To get you thinking about what needs to be done before you even step foot into the field, we’ve brought in Kubota’s Justin Fuhrman, hay implements product manager, to share his top three tips to get you ready for the first cut of the season.
1. Make sure your equipment is ready to roll
If your equipment has been sitting idle since the last cut in the Fall, the first thing you’ll want to do is check it over thoroughly, says Fuhrman. “Be sure to hook the equipment up and run it, check your bearings, make sure nothing is running hot, check your chains and sprockets for wear, make sure everything is properly greased, and any belts that need to be spliced should be addressed now,” he said.
Next to your tractor, your round baler is one of the most critical pieces of your line up, and Kubota recommends changing the gearbox oil every few years or 5,000 bales—whichever comes first. If you can’t remember the last time you’ve done so, now is probably a good time. But please be sure to first check your operating manual for guidance on your specific equipment and model number.
2. Timing is everything in hay making
Be ready to hit the field to make the first cut well before the sign of first bloom, Fuhrman says. “Everybody nowadays is trying to maximize what they have to make the highest quality hay possible and timing is everything in hay making.” While there are many variables, like the weather, that will determine when you make additional cuts, plan for that first cut well before the first bloom and stick to it.
3. Storage for your forage
Storage is a huge part of the process that many don’t give enough thought to ahead of time, Fuhrman says. Getting your hay immediately off the field is of utmost importance as it can hinder the regrowth process of your hay field. Whether you’re storing your hay in a barn or will be wrapping your bales, make sure you have space available and a plan to move them once the cut has been made.
To learn more about Kubota’s full-line of hay and forage products and how each can help you gear up for hay season, please visit www.kubotausa.com/farm-implements.