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26   FODDER AND PASTURE PLANTS.

is heavy, tedding should be continued at intervals until the fodder is sufficiently cured to rake into coils and stack into small cocks. If at all possible, this should be done the day it is cut, or, if cut in the afternoon, the day after. Green fodder, when cut at the best stage for hay-making, usually contains about eighty per cent. of moisture. In good weather even a heavy crop of clover may be dried sufficiently in one day to be ready to put up in small cocks for further curing. The moisture in hay ready to store commonly ranges from twelve to fifteen per cent. A larger percentage would conduce to sweating and mow-burning. It is a good plan to cut until nine o'clock in the morning and then have one person ted and rake for the balance of the day; hauling and storing should proceed from nine o'clock until four or four-thirty in the afternoon, the remaining two hours or less to be devoted to putting up the freshly cured hay into cocks. Plans for hay-making are, however, often interrupted by showers, which add to the labour of curing and are often more disastrous to the quality of the hay than extreme dry heat.

Even during continued rain it is advisable, by tedding or turning with a fork, to keep the partly cured hay loose and open to prevent it from packing and becoming soaked. Its flavour and much of its nutritive matter are more liable to be lost if it lies in a sodden mass than if it is kept loose and open though wet. If the weather is dry and hot, it is important to cut and cure promptly. Hay dried by the burning heat of the sun is apt to lose much of its fine quality; it is best shaken out and dried by light winds. In dry, hot weather it is advisable to use the tedder immediately after cutting and at frequent intervals and to rake and cock while the fodder is still quite moist. Rapid ripening sometimes makes it expedient to defer hauling in favour of cutting and curing. It is then advisable to put it up in large cocks.

Because of the scarcity and cost of farm labour, approved methods of curing and handling have to be modified, and such implements as hay loaders substituted for hand labour and cocking. If hauling can be done from the windrow, as soon as the hay is sufficiently cured, good results are obtained.

Compared with the labour of hay-making by the early settlers, when cutting was done with a scythe, curing by turning with a fork, raking with wooden rakes, and loading and unloading by hand, modern hay-making is not arduous. Ten acres of hay meant a fairly large undertaking for the pioneer farmer; his grandson, with less help but more machinery, can make light work of five times that area. When operating his machines he is not troubled with stumps


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