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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Coastweek -- MOWER CONDITIONERS - Users of mower conditioners have the advantage of reduced infield drying time to enable baling one to two days after cutting, with an additional advantage of the hay having better nutritional value. Crop growers who planted early are expecting above average yields, but those who waited for the commencement of the rainy season before planting have suffered and, in some cases, have completely missed this year’s season.
Exceptionally Heavy Rainfall Has Affected All Types Of Agriculture 

Coastweek -- This season’s exceptionally heavy rainfall in most areas of Kenya has affected all types of agriculture including fodder for livestock.

Above average rainfall is generally beneficial for livestock which will thrive on good pasture. Crop growers who planted early are expecting above average yields, but those who waited for the commencement of the rainy season before planting have suffered and, in some cases, have completely missed this year’s season.

Those that planted late have also lost the opportunity for the potential of a second season planted in the short rains.

Producers of hay have plenty of grass that is at the correct stage of maturity for baling but face a problem with the continued unpredictable rain for cutting.

This situation has resulted in FMD, the Massey Ferguson distributor in East Africa receiving more enquiries about mower conditioners from the farmers who are improving their income by meeting the ever-accelerating demand for hay.

Some growers only cut the crop, but this is not the best way of making quality hay especially when weather is an issue.

Users of mower conditioners have the advantage of reduced infield drying time to enabling baling one to two days after cutting, with an additional advantage of the hay having better nutritional value.

When grass is cut for hay the moisture content of the grass has to be lowered below 40 per cent before baling and for safe storage of nutritious and livestock palatable hay bales will drop in moisture through the bailing process down to 14 to 18 per cent during the mechanical procedure. The drying action provided by conditioning when cutting removes moisture rapidly through crushing and crimping the stems to give water loss before the hay is sun dried in the field.

Shortening the time between cutting and baling provides the most efficient and safe way for hay production.

If hay is rained on and bailed, it can result in not being safe for fodder due to fungal complexities and in extreme circumstances can result in fire whilst being stored ! 

As cattle fodder for the dairy industry, hay accounts for a high percentage of the total expense of milk production especially in dry weather when dairy farmers lack grass !

The growing need for quality hay to satisfy the demand for milk from Kenya’s expanding population, requires the hay industry to adopt efficient methods like mower conditioners for this important requirement.

As with any agricultural process the use of modern and appropriate equipment contributes significantly to achieving the desired result.

The latest Massey Ferguson balers which use centerline technology to reduce crop losses and work at higher speeds with reduced mechanical handling giving farmers greater productivity are now complimented with mower conditioners to further production advantages.

Another unique feature of the Massey Ferguson baler is the design of the knotters which allows for the use of the organic sisal which is more readily available in the local market and is considerably more environmentally friendly than the imported synthetic baler twine.

           

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