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#1 r82230

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 11:06 AM

Over two weeks ago I bale the last of my 2nd cutting.  The first field I baled that day was alfalfa / grass mixed (seeded about 4 years ago).  The hay felt fine for baling (using the old dog's feel, smell & twist method), BUT my moisture testers where showing high moisture.  I actually turned my Havest Tec to manual and ran at only 4# a ton, because the system want to apply 16# a ton.  Most of the time the moisture showed above 30%.  Sometimes, just saying 'High Moisture' on the screen even.

 

When I checked with my hand held tester same scenario with the high moisture readings.  When I baled the last small field that is almost 100% alfalfa, moisture readings where at 12-14% (same on hand held and old hand test, said it was plenty dry too).

 

Needless to say I've monitored this hay closely (moisture actually showed lower a week later with same hand held, which I found unusual :huh: ), until the lab sample test came back today, showing 13.15% moisture.  :)

 

Larry HT 1

 

Seems the 'old dog' testing method was right (hay was a little too dry even for my liking, probably cost me a little RFV/RFQ/protein :angry: ).

 

BUT I'm having a hard time understanding the possible rational for this (remember both testers showed the right moisture in 2nd field, baling each field within minutes of each other).

 

BTW, here is some back ground: has be drier than normal here, got almost an 1" of ran on Friday, didn't cut this until dew was off on Monday, tedded right after cutting, raked the following day (Tuesday), flipped the windrows Wednesday morning (after dew was off), started baling at 3.00 pm (should have been at 2 pm, but got delayed).

 

Time for the HT folks to toss some of their wisdom in my direction. 

 

As I told my son, using all the new fanged stuff only, I would have stopped baling, but with decades of experience, I trusted my instincts (but I have to admit I was questioning my wisdom, until I got the lab test results today :cool: ).

 

TIA

 

Larry


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#2 Gearclash

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 11:27 AM

That is baffling. I’ve come to trust the Harvest Tec system on our big square more than my own touch, for sure with questionable alfalfa. I did have some grief last year with hay that heated after baling when the moisture readings had showed moisture levels that seemed acceptable for preservative application. My conclusion was that there were a lot of warm season grasses in the hay that were cut in vegetative growth, and that their moisture didn’t register properly with the system; presumably the preservative got under applied on bales with a high percentage of warm season grass. It sounds like you have the opposite problem. Was there some factor that could have increased the conductivity of the hay?
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#3 Hayman1

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 12:03 PM

I had some weird readings in second cutting straight og a couple of weeks ago.  Plenty dry but my BHT2 was consistantly reading too high to bale.  Nothing like picking up the bale and seeing how it feels if you have been doing hay for years.  absolutely no heat.  next batch no issue with no change to the BHT2


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#4 Uphayman

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 12:51 PM

I've had issues in tall fescue/alfalfa mixes. Tells me 25% or higher, 90° out ,hay is crispy, gives you an ulcer. Questions your thinking that it's good to go. Never had heating issues....... after 12 years of commercial hay production, I'm starting to trust my senses more.
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#5 SVFHAY

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 02:56 PM

Check your wiring/ plugs to the star wheels, may be some added resistance somewhere.

#6 r82230

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 04:01 PM

. Was there some factor that could have increased the conductivity of the hay?

 

I been racking my brain on that exact thought. 

 

Being both the Harvest Tec and AgTronix read the later baled field spot on (the almost straight alfalfa field).  It seems to be definitely cased by the grass(es), what I have is mainly OG/Brome.  The grasses in this field are thick enough that I have very little or none of warm season grasses (eg crab grass generally).

 

Temp (85-90 degrees), humidity high but still in the low 60's.  In the past those temp/humidity would allow hay to get down below 20% moisture (and both meters would have shown such).  I have also a hand held Delmorst meter, but didn't use it to triple check, unfortunately.

 

I use the U of WV chart to help make decisions on harvesting hay.  So I know that with say 70% humidity at 77 degrees that the best I can expect is 19% moisture (and at 95 degrees about 16% moisture, see attached chart).  But I was down in the 10-12% range, for the lowest levels possible, with given temp/humidity levels.

 

The more I think about this, I'm thinking here is what might have happened.  OG grows crazy HERE, it will grow up to an inch in one day, with the RIGHT conditions.  I fertilized after 1st cutting, I finally got some rain (3 days before cutting).  I cut a little higher than normal (nature of beast, lighter hay I'll push 5" cutting height verses 3")  And I just happened to do some measuring in this field for other reasons, so I know the cutting heights.  All these factors could have been in OG favor. Perhaps the baler was picking up more fresh OG than I thought, it would be more on the bottom half of bale. Throwing havoc to the testing (I usually probe bottom half of bale with the hand held also  :o ).

 

Between the amount of dry alfalfa/grass in the hay, it was able to absorb the fresh grass moisture (if that makes sense) for storage purposes.  Remember I mentioned the straight alfalfa came in between 12-14% moisture, this field should have been the same or drier, with the given grass content (at least that's my experience, grass drying faster than alfalfa).

 

The alfalfa field wouldn't have the fresh grass potential at all. It was cut, tedded, raked and baled after the first field, too. 

 

Upman, never had any temp increase at all and I was checking sometimes more than twice a day.  Harvest Tec moisture has been spot on for years.  I was in Gear's camp, really trusting it.

 

Just goes to show that the learning curve for putting up hay doesn't seem to go away, i surmise. :o

 

Larry

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#7 r82230

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 04:08 PM

Check your wiring/ plugs to the star wheels, may be some added resistance somewhere.

 

Not many plugs to mess with on this Harvest Tec, system, mainly power only/  It uses Blue Tooth to an I-pad (unlike my RB older system, more wires plugs).  All wires I put inside an extra loom near any possible wear points.  It work perfectly in next field (less than 400' away).  And if didn't very much in first field, reading 30+ most of the time.

 

Good thought, I need fresh eyes for certain.

 

Larry



#8 somedevildawg

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 06:46 PM

I think I figured out the issue, it’s right there in front of you......I think you might have sent it to the wrong place, that was where you sent your colon test strips :o
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#9 Troy Farmer

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 06:52 PM

Dawg you are too much! :lol:


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#10 r82230

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 06:58 PM

I think I figured out the issue, it’s right there in front of you......I think you might have sent it to the wrong place, that was where you sent your colon test strips :o

 

My colon test strips samples are not created in front IIRC.  But at my age I suppose anything might be possible.  :D  :lol:

 

Larry


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#11 Gearclash

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 10:14 PM

 

The more I think about this, I'm thinking here is what might have happened.  OG grows crazy HERE, it will grow up to an inch in one day, with the RIGHT conditions.  I fertilized after 1st cutting, I finally got some rain (3 days before cutting).  I cut a little higher than normal (nature of beast, lighter hay I'll push 5" cutting height verses 3")  And I just happened to do some measuring in this field for other reasons, so I know the cutting heights.  All these factors could have been in OG favor. Perhaps the baler was picking up more fresh OG than I thought, it would be more on the bottom half of bale. Throwing havoc to the testing (I usually probe bottom half of bale with the hand held also  :o ).

 

 

Is it possible that dirt got splashed up on the crop by the rain and stayed stuck on the plant and made it into the baler?  What was the ash analysis? (If there was one).  This is a bit of a far fetched idea but I’ve seen rain splash dirt up into a windrow and affect the chamber pressure readings on the big square baler.  Dirt in the hay = more friction = lower chamber pressure readings.  Normally chamber pressure and moisture level are related.  I’m wondering if there was conductive dirt in your hay.



#12 r82230

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 09:22 AM

Is it possible that dirt got splashed up on the crop by the rain and stayed stuck on the plant and made it into the baler?  What was the ash analysis? (If there was one).  This is a bit of a far fetched idea but I’ve seen rain splash dirt up into a windrow and affect the chamber pressure readings on the big square baler.  Dirt in the hay = more friction = lower chamber pressure readings.  Normally chamber pressure and moisture level are related.  I’m wondering if there was conductive dirt in your hay.

 

I have sandy loam soil (CEC 4-6), so unlike more clay type doesn't stick as well.  As well as usually holds less moisture (making it less conductive) than heavier clay soils.

 

Ash content was within what my normal is (usually between high 6% to under 8%, this one was 7.93%, towards the higher end).  I did have one almost straight alfalfa come in at 8.98% this year (the highest I ever remember, rain probably helped contribute to this one, as well as a poorly adjusted rake, but that's another story).

 

Chamber pressures certainly can contribute.  Thing is I didn't change that when switching fields.

 

Good thoughts though.  :)

 

Cutting height I just happen to take a few pics while cutting.  Trying to get a handle on the reason for the 1.5" variance (3" to 4.5", almost 5", see pics).

 

cutting height 2
cutting height 1

 

I guess I might just have to claulk it up to more 'experience' and possibly find the right type of lab  ^_^  (darn Agri-King and their naming anyhow, thanks Dawg :P ).

 

Larry


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