|Tethering and raking hay to dry it before baling|
The intersection of Highway 63 and 21 in Western Colleton County is popular with those looking to find and eat Benton’s boiled peanuts. A 28-acre hay field at Snider’s crossroads owned by Benton Hay Farm welcomed New Holland Agriculture and Blanchard Caterpillar to a hay baling demo day on Saturday, September 11. Area farmers from across the Lower State were invited to come listen to New Holland product specialist Joe Hendrix from Kentucky, and to watch the Benton’s cut, rake and bale their coastal Bermuda hay.
|Joe Hendrix with New Holland talks about new hay equipment|
|Big Rig including the Roll-Belt 450 hay baler|
Hendrix is on the road marketing the latest products from New Holland for 2019 and just attended the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa two weeks ago. “Our newest product is here today and pairs an automated hay bale wrapper with our Roll Belt 450 Series Baler,” said Hendrix. “Wrapping hay bales is already widespread in Europe and Canada, and this practice is gaining popularity in North America due to changing weather patterns. The baler and wrapper combo is not available for purchase until 2019, but we are glad to be here rolling out round bales today for everyone to see.”
|Side arm hay cutter in action|
“We think New Holland hay equipment is the best out there, and we also get great service right here in town at their office on Highway 15,” said I.M. Benton. “Our hay fields run from Shiloh to Canadys and we supply hay for horses, cows and goats. Baling hay is supposed to be a three-day operation cutting the hay on day one, tethering the hay on day two and baling the hay on day three. We try and get our second cut of the year done by Labor Day but the persistent afternoon showers have us running a little behind schedule. So its good for growing hay when rains are steady, but that same reason makes it not so good for cutting.” Make hay while the sun shines rings true for hay farmers, and that’s what they’ll be doing at a rapid pace this week ahead of any possible tropical rains drenching the Lowcountry.
To view the entire feature story in the newspaper click on Colletonian.
To view past blog entry about hay harvest click on 2014 Thanksgiving