Friday, 10 January 2014

 Gavin arrived this morning and immediately set to work cutting grass in preparation for baling tomorrow. His trusty old tractor has done over 8,000 hours and just keeps on keeping on. The attachment on the front of the tractor is for picking up bales of 'bailage' (spelling appears to be 'bailage' or 'baleage'), which weigh in at about 750 kgs. 

A description of baleage is found here

Baleage is based on the ensiling principle, but in a bale of hay instead of a silo. Baleage is hay that is baled at high moisture (40%-60% — dry hay is baled anywhere from 12% to 18% or maybe, but it is pushing it unless a propionic acid preservative spray is used, 20% or a bit higher) very tightly in a round bale and then wrapped in multiple layers of plastic, at least four layers. The plastic wrap and tightly wrapped bale keep oxygen out of the hay. The lack of oxygen and the high moisture encourages the anaerobic bacteriological (lacto bacilus) fermentation, or pickling, of the hay. The pH of properly made baleage should be below 4.0. The baleage is stable until the plastic wrap is removed. Once removed, the bale will spoil in one to two days in warm weather, but it can last for four or five days in cold weather.
We will see tomorrow how it works.

Harold the Hare decide to vacate the premises while he still had his hair. He had been mustered into the centre of the paddock as the hay was mowed, and almost left it too late to make a bolt for it. The mower passed within a few feet of his hairy little backside before he high-tailed it into the neighbour's paddock.

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