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Saturday, May 10, 2014


Jean was off to have lunch with former work colleagues leaving me to muck around in the garden weeding and starting the next NZ Compost. Looking for a change of scenery during the late morning I drove across the river to visit the boss to discuss some things that needed doing over the next few weeks. But of course he wasn't there.

On Thursday six paddocks had been cut for silage by the contractor and on Friday he had baled, wrapped and stacked 93 bales of silage despite 7.5 mm of rain during the night. When I got there late Saturday morning one stack had collapsed with the entire second tier spread on the ground. The other stack was much larger and most of the back second tier had collapsed onto the fence breaking the fence and tearing open a number of bales. The front section had partially collapsed and the middle row all higgledy piggledy.

Fortunately, the 80 HP tractor we had borrowed for unloading the truck on Monday was on site. The 50 HP farm tractor doesn't have bale handlers. Even the big 80 HP Massey Ferguson noticed the bale weights. This cut has been baled very moist making the bales soft and wobbly which is why the stacks collapsed. The next two hours were spent righting the bales applying patches to the rips and restacking in a different formation.

Just as well the boss has ordered a new 75 HP tractor because we wouldn't be able to lift these bales onto the feeders.

Because of the moist baling this silage will need to be used as soon as it is ready in 6 weeks otherwise it will turn to slop. I've some doubts about its quality but the cows will be the discerners of that. Sometimes I wonder if it is better not to make silage if conditions are not correct. It can become very expensive mulch.

On the positive side we have over 180 bales now, 35 from the first cut, 93 from this cut and 55 on order from two other suppliers. That should keep the girls content over Winter.

The day was productive. Not only did I get some paid work but also cleaned up a large section of the vegetable garden and sowed it to green manure (Rye) and am about half way through building the compost.

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