Effects of Harvesting Methods on Field Drying Rates and Cutting Times of Alfalfa

Thrace University, Tekirdag Agricultural Faculty, Farm Machinery Department, 59030 Tekirdag, Turkey


TORUK, FULYA, 2003. Effects of harvesting methods on field drying rates and cutting times of alfalfa. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 9: 639–644

Sap must be removed from the plant as soon as possible after harvest to minimize the losses of oxidation and protein in it. Storing the forage maintaining its feed value after harvest and appropriate drying in the field is the most vital step in forage mechanization. Effects of different harvest methods on drying was investigated as the natural drying in the field is the the most common application.
Effects of weather conditions on drying was investigated as drying is heavily depended on weather conditions. Drying periods, ratio and facts of hay in applied harvesting methods were determined in order to decrease the waste and speed up drying. Drying period in method 6, where a mower-conditioner, a finger-whell rake, and a round baler were used in the experiments, was different copmared to other methods. Methods formed based on the drying ratios with drum movers were selected as the most appropriate ones.

Key words: alfalfa, harvest methods, drying rates, drying time, straw height
Abbreviations: C.V. – Coefficient of variance; Stand.Dev. – Standard Deviation; BBA – Barometric pressure difference; M. – Method; M1 – Method 1; M2 – Method 2; M3 – Method 3; M4 – Method 4; M5 – Method 5; M6 – Method 6;M-rake – The period between mowing and baling(h); R-baling – The period between rake and mowing (h); M-baling – The period between mowing-baling (h)