"The hay tedder as an attachment with the Macerator was one of the best decisions we made when purchasing the equipment. We have always used a hay tedder in our operation and need it to be able to achieve faster drying times in our location. Adding a Macerator to our operation meant adding an extra step to the hay operation and this worried me because we try to work with as few machine operators as possible. The tedder attachment solved this because you get two operations in one. You are able to ted while conditioning the hay. The quality of tedder is impressive. Tedding the hay with the Macerator give you a very even spread, more than any other tedder that I have owned. Also, due to the fact that it doesn't need to scrape the material from the ground, the wear and tear in the equipment is zero to none. We have used this tedder for over two years and have macerated/tedded over 1000 acres and haven't had to do any maintenance in the tedder other than grease the equipment. I strongly recommend this attachment if tedding is a part of your operation."
Adriano Penteado
Amparo, SP, Brazil 

"The Macerator has changed our hay making abilities more than anything else over the last 26 years. We consistently cut our dry down time by one to two days. We even got good drying on cloudy days and the hay would cure even at night time. On several occasions we beat the rain because we used the Macerator. The Macerator will pay for itself in our conditions faster than any other piece of equipment. The quality of hay is superior and our customers are asking for the macerated hay. The animals love the softer texture of the macerated hay. For the first time, we were also able to make a 4th cut this year, thanks to the Macerator."
Bryce Rashleigh
Saanichton Farm, BC

"We conducted a trial to determine what the maximum yield would be with non irrigated alfalfa in the Interlake region. We did our third cut of 1900 lbs. per acre in September, on non irrigated land, which is typically an extremely slow drying time of the year this far north. The AgLand Macerator shortened drying time a great deal. The hay was macerated on Tuesday and baled on Friday. This hay was bud stage and had a relative feed value of 209 and protein of 23.5 with a moisture content of 14%. Without the Macerator the hay would have still been on the field by Sunday when we received significant rain, which would have ruined this incredible hay."
Ray Bittner, Forage technician
Manitoba Agriculture and Food, MB

"We cut Hay - July 4th at 9.00 am - 10:00 am, macerated from 11.00 am to 12.00 am. It was a normal warm day and it was the heavy first cut of mixed alfalfa, clover, brome and new seeding done the summer of 2001. We raked it at 11.00 am July 5th and baled it at 12.00 pm with a Gehl 1470 round baler 4 x 5 at maximum density, without using preservatives. The hay was stored in a closed shed the same day and it kept very well. The Macerator is an amazing machine, 14 points superior in feed value!"
Ben Poirier
B&M Farms, ON

"I bought my Macerator for the 2002 haying season. It did not take long to realize that the Macerator was a "must have" hay tool. The dry down time was incredible, on average _ of normal. I farm 9 quarters of hay and would say that the Macerator is just as important to the operation as the balers".
Marius Hartwig
Hartwig Farms, Innisfal, AB

"Small or large square bales, hay drying time Iis greatly reduced ."
Les Équipements Adrien Phaneuf inc., Victoriaville, Qc

"Our customers are truly really satisfied with the results they get with their Macerator ."
Machineries Nordtrac Ltée, Saint-Barthélemy, Qc

Producing Quality Hay - Belize Ag Report 

Clarence Thiessen of C.T. Farm in Spanish Lookout is the year round source for quality hay for cattle, horses and sheep. Clarence has evolved a sophisticated and well-managed full time haying operation, which depends upon his knowledge of grasses, soils and equipment utilization. The table on page 21 lists the types of hay available, their nutrient content, average pricing, and suitability for use in cattle, horses and sheep. C.T. Farms has also tested its grasses (where marked with *) for crude protein content. Weight of square bales is between 42 and 50 pounds. Weight of round bales is approximately 900 pounds.

Clarence describes bismoto as a grass midway between star grass which stands up to 24” and Bermuda average height around 10”. It is highly palatable and very appealing to horses due to its soft texture, which is similar to the texture of blue stem. C.T. Farm bales milo and RK straw in the dry season for cattle. Clarence describes these products as ‘survival’ for the dry season. He noted that cattle will generally leave the RK stems and eat only the leaves. He rarely bales straw of black eyed beans, black and kidney beans.

The unique design and suitability to the tropics of the macerator, a machine manufactured in Canada and the only one in Belize, is at the heart of the success of the C.T. Farm haying operation. The tropics, being very humid and with unpredictable rainfall, creates not only a difficult climatic environment to cut and bale grasses but also a financial risk. Once the grass is cut, it must dry before baling, and should there be rain during the days of drying, the entire cut is lost and cannot be baled. In the rainy season, one day extra for drying is required due to moisture in the soil. The macerator reduces the hay loss in the field during the rainy season by eliminating one day from the drying cycle. Traditional baling cycle in the dry season is four days. Grass is cut the first day, sun dried for 2 days, sometimes turned with a rake or swatter, and then baled on the fourth day. When operating with the macerator, within 6 hours of cutting, the operator can make a separate pass, which eliminates the need to rake or turn the drying grass. Another benefit of the macerator is the increased palatability of the product which is especially important in the feeding of horses. After passing through the macerator the grass has softer points, and even though baled greener, it has proper moisture content required for baling. There is a marked difference in the color and texture of the grass harvested with use of macerator compared to a bale harvested conventionally. The reduced drying time and the softer texture of the hay are accomplished by the ingenious design of the macerator. The grass is passed through two opposing aluminum rollers, the tension of which can be adjusted for the type of plant matter, that turn at different rpm. The rollers crack the stem of the grass and lay it open, allowing the stem to dry at the same rate as the leaves. This is how the drying period is reduced by one day, which, in turn, results in preserving a higher level of nutrients in the grass.

Another piece of equipment that allows for a one-man operation, thereby increasing C.T. Farm’s profitability, is the accumulator, which trails the baler and automatically stakes up to 15 bales in the field for later pickup by tractor and wagon. C.T. Farm estimates that they are baling approximately 60 acres each of star and blue stem, 50 acres of milo and 50 acres of humidicola currently. Their annual production is running approximately 3000 bales of blue stem, 6000 bales of star and an additional 3000 bales of bismoto. Mombasa is sold primarily in round bales, and the production is highly dependent on weather conditions which drive the demand by the local cattle and dairy farmers for supplemental hay.

Generally 4 cuts a year are taken from a given pasture. Cutting is done every 2 months in the wet season and every 4 months in dry season. Wet season yields twice the number of bales as the dry season. Bales in the dry season tend to be of lesser quality as they are less homogeneous with some weeds and native grasses mixed in. Clarence states that if buyers understood the grass cycle from wet to dry season, they might better accept the seasonal change in quality. Demand is frequently higher in the dry season but supply is greatest in wet season; so C.T. Farm stores hay to adequately supply customers. Management is a key component to quality. Too many cuts leave the grass too low, encouraging undesirable weeds. However, recovery under 6 weeks produces the better quality grass. These two considerations need to be balanced in deciding when to cut.

Clarence stated that he does not apply chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. With proper management of cutting cycles, herbicides are not needed. Occasionally he has applied manure to a field for soil enhancement.

While C.T. Farm bales for resale, another farmer, Eddie Friesen, does custom baling. He provides equipment and services to cut, rake and bale your grass. He has an hourly rate for cutting and a per bale rate to bale. Eddie bales all grasses, stocks and straws. Once completed, you can transport the bales to your barn, or Eddie may sell them for you to retail customers.
Written by Maruja Vargas
Clarance Thiessen and Eddie Friesen, C.T. Farm, Spanish Lookout