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Haying on parade

By Staff | Jun 20, 2012

Vermeer's TM 1400 mower works through the demonstration field at the 2012 Farm Progress Hay Expo. The implement leaves cut grass in a wide swath to facilitate faster drying. A company rep said this allows the hay to cure better.

By LARRY KERSHNER/“mailto:kersh@farm-news.com”>kersh@farm-news.com

BOONE – They mowed, they raked and they baled; and hundreds looked on as companies demonstrated how their machines can add efficiency to one’s haying operation.

The 2012 Farm Progress Hay Expo opened Wednesday and continues Thursday at the Central Iowa Expo, east of Boone along U.S. Highway 20 at the Iowa Highway 17 interchange.

The key event was field demonstrations Wednesday morning of mowing, conditioning and windrowing hay. The after demonstrations displayed what’s new in baling equipment.

New Holland run two units – the Megacutter 530 and Durabine 416.

Three John Deere units enter the field to demonstrate what they bring to the haying industry. In the foreground is a 630 MoCo mower/conditioner; followed by a 995 rotary mower and a 388 triple mower with conditioner and front-mounted mower.

Doug Dehrkoop, service manager for New Holland said the Durabine 416 featured each rotary disc with its own gearbox, that limited damage to that head only, instead of the entire implement.

He said the Megacutter 530, a new haying implement for the company was for high-acre cutting, with applications for silage, with a 30-foot wing span.

The unit fold to within the width of the tractor for narrow transportation and designed primarily for custom haying operations.

Vermeer followed with one unit – the TM 1400.

According to Brett Julian, North American sales manager, the uniqueness of his unit is depositing the cut hay in a wide swath, rather than windrows as the other units were producing.

A pair of Case IH units work through the hay field. In the foreground is the DC 132 pull-type disc mower with conditioner, followed by the self-propelled WD 2303.

Julian said his allows more surface area of the hay to be exposed to the sun and air, expediting drying so it can be baled sooner.

“The University of Wisconsin has done extensive studies on this,” Julian said. By laying the cut grass in swaths, the hay cured better and faster “letting the sun do its job.”

When asked about an extra trip over the field to windrow before baling, Julian said, most producers will windrow a second time to fluff the hay after drying, so, in his mind, it wasn’t much of an issue.

Examining a handful of of the cut alfalfa, John Anderson, of rural Webster City, said he was at the show to see what was new, but admitted, “these guys for bigger operations than mine.”

Anderson has a small grass hay operation and was hoping to find a wheel rake to go with the cutter he bought last year.

Also watching the cutting was Noah Yoder and his son, Ryan, both of Decatur County. Noah Yoder said he produces hay as a cash crop and wanted to see what was new in the industry.

John Deere demonstrated three haying units – the 630 MoCo, the 995 and the 388.

The 630 MoCo featured a 9-foot cutting width, equipped with urethane rolls.

The 995 was equipped with a rotary cutting head and a hay conditioner. Those watching noted that the first unit left a flatter windrow than the second.

The 388 was a triple-mower with conditioner and a front-mounted mower.

Next to strut its stuff was Case IH with two units – the DC 132 and RD 163.

The DC 132 was a pull-type disc mower with conditioner.

The RD 163 featured the self-propelled WD 2303 mower.

The Farm Progress Hay Expo continues Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free after a $10 parking fee.

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