Hay - Cutting, tedding, rowing and baling advice


I have been asked to help my brother in law in removing the crop from some fields. I would anticipate that it would be 8 acres in total.

Non of use are farmers, the BIL has a small place with about 5 acres and I am 'office' based but technically minded.

I have an interest in vintage tractors owning a 1956 Ferguson TEF-20 and the BIL has now gotten the vintage bug!

We have started to remove the hay, but not 100% sure it is being done correctly!

This is the equipment we have.

  • FE35
  • MF-70 drum mower
  • MF-703 baler
  • Unbranded haybob
  • TEF-20
The first field has been cut using the FE35 and MF-70 drum mower. This was done in a clockwise direction starting a the outside and then moving in.

The rows were then tedded using the hay bob. We were told that this particular one needs to be used in an anticlockwise direction, so it was done in the opposite direction to the mowing.

Then the field was rowed up using the hay bob, once again in an anticlockwise direction.

These are a few issues that we came across.

When rowing up the hay bob can make sharper corners that the baler, especially when a few rounds had been done.

We then rowed it up again with less sharp corners, but this meant that some of the hay was missed. We also realised that once getting so far in the turns were getting tighter.

We decided to row it up again in straight lines. But for the baler to work correctly, the FE35 had to drive over the windrows and due to the low clearance of the FE35 we were worried about the hay getting caught in the pto or causing a fire. Have we rowed up too close to the previous windrow?

We did then try an move them over to leave a gap for the FE35 an baler, but the windrows then were too big for the baler to cope, even with the FE35 in low range and 1st gear.

Now this may be due to the field not being cut for at least 3 years and the hay quite dense?

Any advice appreciated.



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Livestock Farmer
sw scotland
You seem to have done better than some farmers. The crop looks heavy. Old balers need time. They need to be kept filled to get a good bale but not too much speed.
The haybob will make some sharper corners once you have been round a few times. Just cut across a bit straighter and get off and kick the extra along a row as 2 rows into one will be too much. Once the ends cleared 5 times round then straight up and down.
Looks as if this advice may be too late and you have got on fine.


In this hot weather it wouldnt have hurt which way you tedded or rowed it up. They always used to say it sat up and dried quicker if you went against the mown grass first time. Corners always get tighter so at some point you stop going around and around and square them off leaving your headlands to turn the kit around on. Sometimes you just need to walk around and tidy up the swathes with a rake/fork. Doesnt look to be going so bad by the video.


Im with you rowland , 4-5 times around then block it. Never round and round imo because if your using a flat eight sledge you want the bales all facing the same way for ease of loading, not all over the shop.


@TrickyT it looks like you're doing ok to me. When working with smaller tractors it might be easier to row round 5 or 6 times, bale these rows and move the bales towards the outside of the field before rowing the centre and baling it in straight lines. If you can use the full width of the haybob when rowing up you'll have a bit more room to work.


Look fine to me ............
Don't forget to take the lock off the haybob so it can "steer" a bit.
Headlands are hard to do especially in badly shaped fields, some lads would bale the middle of the field (starting in the best hay) and do the headland the next day or even bale it for silage. So I wouldn't stress to much. You will be baling in the same direction as you cut, so the first time around you will be driving on the other row (usually the headland row, next the boundary) after that you should have more or less enough room. Remembering to put the baler in field position by moving the drawbar from transport / road position.

Most important thing is to stay safe, older equipment although a joy to use, can be unforgiving and you are very exposed to the elements, compared to modern kit.

Enjoy ........
I personally haven’t baled, but that’s how my Granda wants it done, and he’s been at it for longer than you and me have been on this earth so is bound to know what way to do it, he baled 4000 last week (y)
V poor grass growth here so I only baled 4000 over recent 7 days. Normally I would expect to bale more.
I concide the greater age, but I'm not so certain greater age guarantees greater ability.
Can I assume he is using a small tractor and isn't using an accumulator , or else the ever sharpening corners would be a cause of great frustration.


North East Wales
I'll rake some hay for you and you'll never want to go round and round again. Two 20ft rows round the outside and the rest in straight, parallel 20fts, you'll never want to follow a haybob again.

I beg to differ. For small balers there is nothing better than a well set up Haybob. Just do the straight runs and points first, then four times around the headland.

Modern rakes are the worst things ever for small balers. I have both machines here so I have no hidden agenda. But just ask anyone who knows how to use a conventional baler and they would always prefer to bale after a Haybob than a rake.

If they disagree then they have obviously never baled after someone who knows how to use a Haybob properly.


Mixed Farmer
Old boys (now departed) that I used to bale for used to go round maybe 3 times with the haybob until it got too tight, then would continue going round and round, but putting the inside headland run through the 'bob each time. Looked odd, and only sensible on the small fields, but avoided running on/catching headlands and was handy enough to bale.


Livestock Farmer
V poor grass growth here so I only baled 4000 over recent 7 days. Normally I would expect to bale more.
I concide the greater age, but I'm not so certain greater age guarantees greater ability.
Can I assume he is using a small tractor and isn't using an accumulator , or else the ever sharpening corners would be a cause of great frustration.
Used a MF 265 and 124 baler. IF you mow around the dykebacks and then stripe the middle I take it you kick the middle out first?

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