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A few photos of my recent activities.

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Whitewing

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I've been busy. Really busy. Where all these folks bought bales before I started baling, I don't have a clue.....I can't make them fast enough. And so far it doesn't much matter what I'm baling.....they want 'em, or need 'em. Perhaps it's this tough summer that's producing the demand.

Anyway, a few photos.

Here are a few shots of us baling estrella or "star" at the ranch of Pedro Pino....or Peter Pine as I call him. Estrella ranks about 3rd on the list of material horse owners want for their animals behind bermuda and swasi.

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Amazing how much estrella looks like bermuda, though a bit thicker or "rougher".

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As usual, I'm baling two places at the same time. Pino's place is in a valley along the river while the other spot I'm baling (La Gloria) is on a bluff to the southeast....about an hour's drive by tractor. Being one to stop and smell the roses, I took a few pics one day in route to La Gloria.

Here's a pic from the bluff looking back at Pino's place and the pueblo beyond. My ranch is roughly in the center of the photo at the base of the mountains in the distance.
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Here's a ground dove nest I found while looking for the right spot to take a pic of the valley below. They're small doves, lots of reddish flashing when they fly.
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Once on the bluff, the ranches are quite large (as opposed to the smaller parcels along the river below) and they're really beautiful. I tried, but just couldn't capture how pretty the scenery was. Anyway, here's a shot or two as I travel towards La Gloria.
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La Gloria

A buddy of mine called me one day and said that the owner of La Gloria wanted to talk to me about baling two types of pasture they have. I was surprised since La Gloria is not known as a cattle ranch or pasture producer. As it turns out, the pasture is pretty much residual from when the ranch was a cattle operation. Not sure how many years ago they made the switch, but they're now a huge mango and lime plantation with most of their product being exported to Europe. They're very well-respected in the area.

Anyway, working in La Gloria as been a real treat for me. They gave me a key to the front gate (which is always locked) and told me to come and go as I pleased....."make bales and sell 'em, we don't need any bales here at La Gloria".

I'm baling one pasture of decumbre which is really suitable for cattle and one pasture of humidicola which is a horse feed. The decumbre pasture will be planted with lime trees soon which is why the owner wanted to extract something of value before plowing and planting it.

Here we are baling humidicola. I've been pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to sell.....though found it tough to cut.
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Here's a few shots of the mango section at La Gloria. I've not yet ventured over to the lime side but will eventually. I need to ask the owner how many mango trees they've got....it's probably on the order of 20,000 or more as relatively small sections are noted to have as many as 3,000.
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Check out this setup. It's obviously used to trim the trees....that I knew. What I didn't know is that the trimming process, along with some stimulate they apply via spray, promotes the growth of the mangos.
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Here are some young mangos sprouting where the ends of the branches had been trimmed.
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Nicky

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Thank you! It is so cool to see pictures from there, what a different world. I've never heard of any of those grasses, I'm guessing they are tropical? Does the owner of La Gloria pay you to put up the hay, or do you get the hay for doing it? (Not that it is any of my business, I'm just curious) Has your drought let up any? Keep the pictures coming :D
 

Hayguy

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Glad to see that your still busy, very interesting photo's, so different and yet still the same. have been waiting for you to show up on here, thought this might interest you http://www.kuhnsmfg.com/index.shtml
 

Whitewing

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Nicky said:
Thank you! It is so cool to see pictures from there, what a different world. I've never heard of any of those grasses, I'm guessing they are tropical? Does the owner of La Gloria pay you to put up the hay, or do you get the hay for doing it? (Not that it is any of my business, I'm just curious) Has your drought let up any? Keep the pictures coming :D

The drought really hasn't let up much though here in March we've gotten just enough rain in the area to slow down my baling activities (doesn't take much, of course). I'll probably be baling away from my place until mid to late June. By then the rains should be falling pretty good again and I can start tending my bermuda.

Decumbre is definitely a local, tropical, grass as I believe humidicola is as well. Others such as swasi and pangola are imports from Africa. I think estrella is also and African variety introduced many years ago.

With La Gloria I've worked a deal where half the bales are mine to do with as I please. They want me to sell their half. I charge them one bolivar per bale to handle the bales and the sales transaction. Most of my customers buy directly from the field and leave with anywhere from 130 to 300 bales or so depending on the size of their trucks.
 

Whitewing

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Blkbuckaroo said:
Nice pics,those bales look pretty light.Are you hand stacking the field?Thanks for sharing.

Depending on the material we're baling, the bales normally run 12 to 13 kilos each (26 - 30 lbs)......which is a standard commercial bale here.

My neighbor bought a JD baler which produces bigger bales and he's jacked his prices way up though he really doesn't compact the material very well. I weighed one of his bales and it came in at 14 kilos. He's charging 25 bs/bale for those while I'm charging 18 bs/bale for mine (bermuda). I think that'll work fine for him while summer is burning hot but once the rains come, he's going to get some stiff resistence to those excessive prices because his "bales are bigger".

Are we hand stacking the field? You bet. Some day, hopefully soon, I'll take it to the next level and get a stooker. :D
 

Whitewing

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hayguy said:
Glad to see that your still busy, very interesting photo's, so different and yet still the same. have been waiting for you to show up on here, thought this might interest you http://www.kuhnsmfg.com/index.shtml

:lol: Man you're a tease. I feel like a kid in a candy store every time I get on line and look at equipment that's not available here. :p
 

caljane

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Love the pictures and story behind, it's very interesting to see how agriculture in other countries is done. Thanks, Whitewing!

I was curious about the hay prices in Venezuela and thought others would like to know too:
1 Bolivar is about US$0.23 in exchange rate. Makes one of these ~28lbs bales worth about US$5.75 - boy, and we complain about hay prices? This is US$410/ton!

I assume putting the hay up is more expensive too, though, especially with the fairly small bales.
 

RSL

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Neat Pics. I bet that hedge trimmer wouldn't pass worker's safety rules here... :shock:
 

gcreekrch

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Considering your fuel and wage costs, I'd say that baler is a licence to print money. :wink:

Won't be long and that air conditioned tractor will be a reality Whitewing. :D
 

Whitewing

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gcreekrch said:
Considering your fuel and wage costs, I'd say that baler is a licence to print money. :wink:

Won't be long and that air conditioned tractor will be a reality Whitewing. :D

Honestly, outside of my neighbor who bales only his place, there's no one anywhere near making bales and for the life of me I don't know why. The business has expanded really rapidly with demand outstripping supply for me.

I'm going to buy a Yanmar tractor, 75 horses, 4 X 4, with front end loader. Folks I've talked to in the States who have experience with them say they're top-quality and recommend them highly. Most importantly, they're available here where most other brands are not. The gubmint wants everyone to buy those crappy Venirans (Iranian tractors built in Venezuela) but I refuse to do so.

Anyway, back to work. See you guys in another month or two. :D
 

gcreekrch

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Yanmar makes a good engine. We had one in a generator and it went 20,000 hrs before a rebuild.

No experience with any of their machinery, about all you see here are small excavators.
 

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