New Zealand Tablet, Rōrahi X, Putanga 489, 25 Hereturikōkā 1882, Page 25
Haymaking. — Haymaking must be a very ancient process. Whether the " provender " which we read of in the time of Jacob was hay or partly hay may be doubtful, but we should think it highly probable that straw and hay were both in use in the most primitive times. Hay is made by allowing grass to lie exposed to the natural heat of the sun until its moisture has been abstracted to such a degree as to allow the dried grass to be stored in a rick. The quality of hay is found to depend a good deal upon the manner in which it is made, and also upon the degree to which it heats in the rick. If grass is put together too soon it heats, and if put together while wft with rain water it gets mouldy. Let us, then, state the case once more from what we shall call the Conservative point of view. Much has been of late advanced in favour of a process by which the sun may be dispensed with as a maker of hay. If Dr. Siemens' experiments are successfully carried out, we may perhaps bear of the sun being dispensed with even as a grower. Mr. Allender is convinced of the vfrnmense importance of <he new process of haymaking, but then Mr. Allender is a public man^und a man of spirit, and one of the roost go-a-head men of his time. Many good farmers will think twice, and oftener, before they discharge such an old and tried servant as the sun in their farming occupations. They will hold at arm's length and look very carefully at the pretensions of those who propose to introduce new wine into such an old bottle as this. To rush into print upon the importance and value of this process, simply because the hot steam is rushing froai a hayrick as from a young steamengine may be judicious, but yet as a mere fact in haymaking it does not sound reassuring. If any of us have the misfortune to put our grass together too soon, and to get a rick too hot, we may prebably be glad of a process for cooling it. But the verdict of most farmers will probably be in favour of managing so as to avoid hot hayricks as much as possible. We should like to know how such a rick as Mr. Allender speaks of will turn out next winter, and we shall be right glad to learn that it is sweet and well coloured, palatable to stock, and better hay than we have made during the last fortnight without any artificial apparatus. Where farmers make their 100 or 200 acres of hay, it is no small consideration that it should be light to pitch on to the carts and waggons, and on to the ricks. Everyone who is accustomed to work in a hay field must know the great difference between handling well-made hay and grass. The difference would be felt first by the " pookers " or " cokers," next by the pitchers, next by the loaders, finally by the unloaders, rick makers, and their helpers. Then there is the amount of horse labour, which would be doubled. Bemembering that hay time falls at the same period with turnip sowing, is it a small matter that the teams so ill spared fr®m swede and turnip sowing should be twice the time formerly occupied in carting hay 1 If no other plan could be devised for securing the hay crop we should be obliged to submit to such a process as is now put before us for our approval. But is this the case? " Can I not, by the exercise of a certain modicum of patience, secure my hay year by year in good or at least fair order ?" The process is too cumbrous, the need of it too uncertain, the success too speculative. We live in an age full of suggestion and novelty, but we cannot be too careful in weighing well the proposals made to vs — in trying the spirits. We doubt — nay, more, we disbelieve — that any hay can be better made or better won than that which is fanned by the breezes of fine summer days, and warmed through and through by the heat of a June sun. This is the hay to go into the rick as light as feathers, and cut out of it in firm, hard trusses, smelling as well as spice cake. It is true there are difficulties in haymaking as in other things ; but, as we have already said, a little patience, and the sun bursts out again, and in a wonderfully short time the hay is won and the rick thatched, and then, oh, how delighted we feel that we have not bought one of those thingamajigs. — " B." in Agricultural Gazette.