Pictured here is a John Deere 560M Round Baler
At 21st Century Equipment, we’re proud to help farmers, ranchers and property owners of all kinds make the most of their land with high-quality hay and forage products by John Deere.
Keep reading to learn some quick tips to help you make the most of hay season.
Preparation Starts with Education
When growing hay on your property with the intention of using it to feed your own animals, make sure you’re well aware of your livestock’s nutritional needs. For example, the diet of some cattle and horses could be similar, but when it comes to the likes of sheep or goats, those needs may be quite different.
Educating yourself on necessary soil compositions, climate, and preference of crop for the livestock you’re raising is highly recommended before diving into your hay journey.
It’s also important to consider the climate and soil composition on your property so the right kind of crop can be grown for the hay you’re making. For example, making grass hay is completely different than producing legume hay like alfalfa. A higher success rate is more likely when you’re mindful of what climate will work best for the crop you’re interested in producing.
If you’re brand new to hay-making, this video is full of helpful information as you get started.
Familiarize Yourself with John Deere Hay Equipment
No matter the size of your hay-growing operation, 21st Century Equipment has the John Deere products you need to succeed.
For a small to moderate-sized job, a utility tractor is an excellent choice. 5 series tractors are typically a great fit for mid-moderate hay work thanks to the level of horsepower they offer. For larger operations, something in the 6 series family will likely be more appropriate. No matter which John Deere tractor you choose, cutter and rake attachments are a must.
A rotary cutter is the recommended option for smaller jobs as it has the fastest ground speeds and the least moving parts, making it simple to maintain and service if need be. With the speed of a rotary cutter, more of your property can be covered over a day's time. A John Deere draper platform will be more appropriate for larger operations.
Rakes are a necessary part of any hay operation as well. Rakes help gather the crop, prep the crop lines for the baler and speed up the dry-down process. A wheel rake is recommended in many applications as they are effective in pulling up any hay closer to the ground to ensure that every part of the crop is dry before baling.
Last but certainly not least, a baler is an impeccable investment for the long term. When selecting a baler, the John Deere 4 Series is a common selection thanks to its overall versatility, but it’s important to know what kind of baler is best for your needs. Ask your local 21st Century Equipment store about our selection of round, twine, wire, and square balers to find the right fit for you.
Check out this video of the John Deere 460M baler to see all the specs and basics on a round baler model from 21st Century Equipment.