Jerry Miller, Friedens, PA, was the first to buy a Staheli DewPoint 6110 in the East, where he uses it to widen his harvest window - and hold on leaves. He ordered his machine to match the color of his baler.
Western growers aren’t the only ones interested in the DewPoint 6110, says Dave Staheli, president of Staheli West, the Cedar City, UT, company that makes it. The dew machine has also headed east.
“We’ve plunged ourselves into a whole new category of haymaking in Pennsylvania,” he says. “They’re steaming the hay in the daytime to preserve the leaf content.”
In Pennsylvania, evenings bring too much dew and afternoons are too dry to bale, says Jerry Miller, a commercial hay grower at Friedens.
“Generally, there’s a spell at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or noon to 1 when you can bale and keep your leaves,” he says.
After reading of the machine in this magazine and seeing the quality of hay it produced, Miller traveled to Kansas to see one in action. He bought a unit, estimating a five-year payback.
His first-crop alfalfa is generally harvested as haylage, and this year was no exception. In mid-July, the DewPoint steamed Miller’s second cutting, and 3 x 3 x 8’ bales, with leaves intact, were put up at 16-18% moisture. Then, just as he normally had done, he applied preservative to keep the bales from spoiling.
“This machine helps us to continue to bale all day,” says Miller, who markets hay to dairy, horse and goat operations as well as to deer farms.
Of his 1,000 hay acres, more than 500 are in grass and only 450 in alfalfa – not enough alfalfa to warrant buying the DewPoint, he says. “It seems like you need to get to 500 or 600 acres to justify that, and we are planning to go to 1,000 acres in the future.”