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What moisture do you bale at?

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:18 pm
by Big Muddy rancher
Just got started for the year. The monitor is reading 16% and down with only the rare occurance hitting 17 or18.

Today we were baling 16 to 13% then we came around a corner and the rake started picking up what was cut yesterday and the monitor started showing 20,21 ,22 then WET. I pulled out and wrapped a 30 incher.

Re: What moisture do you bale at?

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:27 pm
by Soapweed
I have always just used the touch feely method, but usually it works. My rule of thumb is that it's better to bale two days too dry than two hours too wet. It's worked for a lot of years, and the cows always seem to eat what we give them. This is not the answer you are looking for, but old traditions die hard. :cowboy:

Re: What moisture do you bale at?

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:38 pm
by Mike
We shoot for 20% or less. 15% - 18% seems to be perfect. Above 20, it tends to heat up to above 150 F degrees.

Re: What moisture do you bale at?

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:59 pm
by Traveler
Sometimes push the limits on alfalfa, put it up fairly damp before sunup after it's already cured, and stop when too many leaves are falling off around midday. Grass and forage crops, mid teens or less.

Re: What moisture do you bale at?

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:07 pm
by Silver
I try to keep the majority of the readings at 15% or better, but will push it upwards a bit in a pinch. One thing I learned with our Vermeer is that if the monitor claims it is very dry, it probably is. However, if it starts to read a little above that it will be too wet. Like a lot too wet. I assume that is because the baler monitor is reading the outside of the swath which is making contact with the sensors and the inside of the swath may be far less ready to be baled. Bottom line is never trust the baler monitor, but use it for a bit of a guideline.

Re: What moisture do you bale at?

Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:50 am
by Big Muddy rancher
Lots of variables, yesterday the hay I was baling was mown hay and I was 100 ft behind the rake. I think the moisture was pretty well represented of all the hay. Yes, heavy windrows that dry on top and are wet green underneath pose quite a different story.
Hay that has cured and got wet is quite different than hay that is still curing down.
We usually wait up nights for a dew to bale this year were hoping for the sun to come out in the afternoon so we can bale.

Re: What moisture do you bale at?

Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:21 pm
by Hereford76
Best hay I ever put up was plumb cured... Started at first breath night air and got a quick thunders however that dumped probably .05. Had drove 40 miles cross country to get job done... only 120 bales or so left to make so I just baled it. Probe said 36 moisture but it was beautiful alfalfa hay.

Re: What moisture do you bale at?

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:19 pm
by Aaron
I bale a lot at 18-23%. Heats a little in some cases, but seems to turn into great stuff. Might get the odd wad that is 30%+ and have a patch of mold. I bale them as tight as I can. Only time when it doesn't work for sure is with clovers. Guaranteed mold then.