Great Hay Equipment, Great Hay Yields
Randy McGee is quick to give Hesston by Massey Ferguson products much of the credit for his hay quality.
By Tharran E. Gaines | Photos By Brett Deering
“I haven’t used anything but Hesston hay equipment since I got into the hay business more than 20 years ago,” Randy McGee says, noting that his current inventory includes a WR9770 windrower and three Hesston by Massey Ferguson balers. “The greatest asset right now, though, is the double conditioner on the windrower. It allows me to bale at least a day earlier and usually saves one cutting or more each year from getting rained on.”
McGee says he does have to drive 1 to 2 mph slower when using the double conditioner, mainly because he adjusts both rolls to nearly maximum pressure. However, he insists the reduced drying time is worth it.
“Between the drip irrigation system, which lets me get water on the field quicker than normal, and the double conditioner, which allows me to reduce drying time and get the hay baled and off the field quicker, I’m currently cutting a crop every 21 to 24 days.”
When it comes to baling his hay, though, McGee has three options. Most of the dairy hay is put up in 4- x 4-foot bales with an MF2190 large square baler. However, he also has an MF2846A for round bales that go to local feedyards and a Hesston 4590 small rectangular baler for horse hay.
All three balers, as well as the windrower, were purchased from Livingston Equipment Company in Muleshoe, Texas. Plus, McGee is also getting a fourth piece of Massey Ferguson hay equipment—an RK Series rotary rake—that he gets to use for a year for having the highest overall RFQ score in last year’s Southeastern Hay Contest. (Massey Ferguson joined the program in 2015 as the title sponsor of the event and grand prize contributor.)
“Until I bought the MF2190 big baler, I had been using an older Hesston 4910,” McGee relates. “The difference is unbelievable. With nearly double the capacity, baling takes a lot less time, which further contributes to the short time plants go without irrigation.”
To prevent further downtime, McGee says he has Livingston’s service department go through the MF2190 each winter to check for wear and to ensure proper adjustment. “They’ve been great about taking care of me.”