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Newbie raking pattern question

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#1 familyguy

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 12:04 PM

I started haying our own field last year. I've only done it half a dozen times. About 3 acres.

 

One of my questions I always forget to ask between cuttings is what is the best way to pattern the raking, to get it ready for baling?

 

I currently rake two rows together, and it works fine. The day I go to bale it, I rake it one more time.

 

The problem is, the closer to the center of the field I get, the tighter the turns and more frequent. I don't like to make tight or frequent turns with the baler.

 

But if I bale in long straight rows, that means the rows are either too far apart or too close together, because when I u-turn the tractor at the end of each row, its sending the windrow the opposite direction. In other words, the rows are not the same distance apart. This makes it a little bit tricky to bale.

 

I don't want to overcomplicate things, but I was wondering if someone here can point me to a beginner's resource on the raking/windrowing part of the process.

 

Thanks!

Rory

 

PS- A thought just occurred to me -- I could wait to double up the rows until the final raking. That would probably help with drying too.



#2 carcajou

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 12:21 PM

Rake the middle 1/4 of the field from the center out, gives more room on the turns.   Also you can reverse direction every other pass too.


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#3 familyguy

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 12:35 PM

Also you can reverse direction every other pass too.

 

Ah... Thanks!



#4 Hayman1

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 12:59 PM

Rake the middle 1/4 of the field from the center out, gives more room on the turns.   Also you can reverse direction every other pass too.


Helps a lot if you have a hydraulic rake that you can raise like the newer rotaries. Btw, I realize it is what you have but a 3 ac field is only so big which makes it a pain to rake for the most part. Most folks rake 6-8 mower swaths around a field and then go back and forth. Much more efficient. If you are round baling vs square baling with a wagon attached you can reduce your headland a fair amount due to a much smaller turning radius
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#5 Hayjosh

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 05:21 PM

Rake the outer 4 rows so you get the grass up off the field and aren't smashing it in on the turns.

 

Then rake back and forth. At the very end, you'll have to regather your outer two rows since you had to drive over them when raking.

 

Bale your outer rows first, unless you have trees around the field. Then leave them for last since they dry slower.

 

When you bale you don't have to make a sharp turn and come back down the very next row. Skip a few rows and bale that, then come back up on the row next to the first row you were on.

 

For instance:

 

Bale row 1 heading south. Turn right, and skip three rows.

Bale row 5 heading back north. Turn right and go to row 2.

Bale row 2 heading south. Turn right and jump to row 6.

Bale row 6 heading back north. Turn right and jump to row 3.

 

Then you spiral your way through the field. Eventually when you finish row 5, you'll have to make a left turn at the end instead of a right, and continue the same pattern but opposite.

 

This type of pattern allows bigger, wider turns with a baler and wagon on the back. Above is just an example, using north and south to help you visualize it.


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#6 8350HiTech

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 06:21 PM

Rake the outer 4 rows so you get the grass up off the field and aren't smashing it in on the turns.

Then rake back and forth. At the very end, you'll have to regather your outer two rows since you had to drive over them when raking.

....
it.


Why does he have to drive over them when raking?

#7 Hayjosh

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 07:58 PM

Why does he have to drive over them when raking?

 Because he's going to have to make a turn at the end of the row to go back the opposite direction.



#8 8350HiTech

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 08:01 PM

Because he's going to have to make a turn at the end of the row to go back the opposite direction.


Turn sharper? I never had to sacrifice one or two rows back when I had a bar rake.
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#9 Bkpigs

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 07:46 AM

I bale as without a trailing wagon. I usually do four rounds around the field for the headland. The outside 2 I rake together and then pass 3 and 4 I rake together towards the outside. Basically rake 4 onto 3, then 3 with 4 towards 2. This gives me 18' of clean area to turn on. Then to rake the inside of the field (resetting the numbers on windrow passes), I rake 4 towards 3, then 1 towards 2. Move to windrow 6, raking towards 5. Then 3 towards 4. Then go to windrow 8 and so on. Just don't forget to come back for windrow 2. This way I don't have to turn real sharp and can keep doing left turns.
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#10 Hayjosh

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 12:35 PM

Turn sharper? I never had to sacrifice one or two rows back when I had a bar rake.

 I'm not following. When you get to the end of a row there's only a 9' distance until a row running perpendicular in the headland. How are you making a complete 180 turn in that? I can't even turn my lawn mower that sharp.



#11 KS John

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 02:16 PM

 I'm not following. When you get to the end of a row there's only a 9' distance until a row running perpendicular in the headland. How are you making a complete 180 turn in that? I can't even turn my lawn mower that sharp.

Zero turn mower?


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#12 Beav

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 09:33 PM

when we rake outside round in then 5 rounds out one double 4 single windrows 60 foot headland then rake center line double windrow and make lines with whatever is left works in any size field





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