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 ), until the lab sample test came back today, showing 13.15% moisture.
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 ).
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 ).