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Small-Scale Haymaking (Country Workshop) Paperback – Illustrated, November 15, 2006
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From the Back Cover
The art of making hay is as old as farming itself, and even today, no matter how sophisticated the machinery, it evokes the connection of a person to the land. For anyone undertaking the task of making hay for the first time or if you have a few haying seasons under your belt, Small-Scale Haymaking takes you through every step of the process. From plowing and planting the field to cutting, baling, and storing the hay, author Spencer Yost explains what to do, citing examples and describing situations from his own experience as a hay farmer.
Information about buying and maintaining all types of haying equipment is covered in this book, as well as developing a farm plan for the future. Practical advice and step-by-step instructions will help first-time and veteran hay farmers through the entire haying process to where they can sit back and admire, with pride, a bare hay field and a full hay mow.
About the Author
Spencer Yost has written several tractor-related books, including How to Rebuild and Restore Farm Tractor Engines and How to Restore Your John Deere 2-Cylinder Tractor, and is the creator of Antique Tractor Internet Services (www.atis.net), the original antique tractor website. A computer-industry consultant by day, he lives in Pfafftown, North Carolina.
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The book is written for a person who has virtually no experience in agriculture and the associated equipment. The formatting of the book was very difficult to follow. Subjects jumped around with no transition or logic. Hopefully the printed version is better . An example is a discussion on rakes is interrupted by grass types. One piece of equipment is discussed then followed with a picture of another type. There are too many of these examples in the book to be just a one time problem. If the printed version is this way too, the editor didn't help the author much.
|Several major improvements might be :
1) A discussion of the real cost of making hay in regards to equipment, fuel, repairs, fertilizer, lime and grass seed compared to the return at a specific hay price per ton. This might be real eye opener for someone who might be considering this in an economic perspective.
2) While Mr. Yost suggests used equipment, he makes only one reference to the horse power required of a tractor, the most important piece of data needed. Ironically, the most readily available used tractor is the Ford 8 N. It has about 29 hp. According to Mr. Yost, that tractor is too small for any baler. But would someone explain how hay was made when the average tractor was 25 hp? I once had a John Deere 24T baler with a Wisconsin engine. It did not take the tractor PTO to run it. The previous owner of the baler used an 8N to cut, ted, rake and bale hay. An in depth comparison of tractor hp and balers would have been worth twice the price of the book. A discussion of auxiliary power would also be helpful. I still wonder if there really are vintage balers that can reasonably bale hay with less than 30 hp.
3) New compact tractors are one of the biggest selling tractor lines today with people purchasing small acreage to "farm" or whatever, You can buy a 25 hp John Deere, New Holland,Kubota, or whatever for $300 per month. Are there vintage balers that will fit these compact tractors? I know you can buy brand new square or round baler for compact tractors but they are over $15 K.
4) The discussion of balers was too generic and to those of us who aren't familiar with the mechanism could have used a generic diagram or exploded parts diagram to locate items and understand the spacial relationship of the equipment.
5) A discussion of timing a baler would have been very helpful. A baler out of time, will break the unit with its first bale. Not understanding how to check timing is a sure way to ruin a baler. Knowing this process especially for an old baler seems to me to be critical.
Perhaps the author might consider adding and expanding his book in the second addition if the demand is high enough. Unfortunately after reading the book, it leaves me with more questions than answers and just a little bit frustrated. I was hoping for real experience and insight into how small scale haymaking might be feasible. I'll keep searching the internet for info.
I gave it 5 stars for the book content. If I could rate the Kindle adaptation I would give it 1 star. Everything seemed to be out of order - especially the pictures. They seemed to be randomly dispersed throughout the book. The index at the end was useless, too. If I could do it over again I would buy the printed version.
Most recent customer reviews
Happy to be making hay myself now