Tom’s Tips: Preparing for hay season

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Proper preparation puts you in the best possible position to maximise the potential of your silage or hay crop. Proper preparation puts you in the best possible position to maximise the potential of your silage or hay crop. Proper preparation puts you in the best possible position to maximise the potential of your silage or hay crop.
Sharpen or replace mower blades and have plenty of spares on hand Sharpen or replace mower blades and have plenty of spares on hand Sharpen or replace mower blades and have plenty of spares on hand

An exceptionally wet start to spring — and even flooding — has delayed the start of silage and hay season in many parts of Australia, writes Tom Dickson.


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With many areas still soaking from the drenching rain it could be some time before it’s even possible to get tractors and other hay equipment onto the paddocks.

This delay creates a small window of opportunity to catch up on overdue maintenance. When the sun finally does poke through and the paddocks dry out the race will be on to get next year’s fodder supplies safely conserved.

If you are employing hay contractors to do the job then keep in constant contact to avoid misunderstandings. However, if you do the job yourself then the following list will help you to be ready when the weather permits:

  • Service tractors
  • Have plenty of fuel on hand
  • Identify which machines you will be using
  • Check oil levels and change if necessary
  • Grease
  • Inspect PTO shafts for wear
  • Tighten or replace loose wheel bearings
  • Check tyre pressures
  • Sharpen or replace mower blades and have plenty of spares on hand
  • Replace broken and missing rake tines
  • Buy baling twine
  • Position your machines so that you can quickly hook each one up and get to work

Proper preparation puts you in the best possible position to maximise the potential of your crop. You only get about two weeks to produce your winter feed reserves — don’t let poor preparation stuff it up.

 

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