The Haystack Takes a New Look As Modern Machines Replace Muscles

| September/October 1973

There was a time when hay wagons and haystacks were common sights on the New American countryside. Hot August days meant haymaking from dawn to dusk and long cool drinks from canning jars.

In those days horse power was supplied by real horses and a hay wagon was a haystack on wheels. It used to take a crew of men and a team of horses to build a haystack on the flat bed of a farm wagon. One man rode the back of the stack, guided the horses and piled the hay. Many a young farmer took a spill with a slipping haystack on a hilly field before he got the knack of stack building.

Today it might be easier to find 2 needle in a haystack than find a haystack itself. Technology has passed by haystacks and pitchforks. Modern farmers tie hay into bales and carry it from the fields neatly stacked aboard automated wagons.

Automatic bale wagons like those produced by the New Holland, the farm machine division of Sperry Rand Corporation, have replaced the old team and wagon in haying operations. With the use of one of these machines a farmer can bring his crop yield in from the field without touching a bale of hay. What is more important, machines like these have turned a major, time consuming task on the farm into a one-man operation. A single farmer can pluck bales from a field, drive to an unloading area and unload all the bales one at a time or as a complete stack.

Automatic bale wagons have replaced hay wagons, balers replaced pitchforks and thermos bottles replaced canning jars. Old style back-breaking haymaking is little more than a memory on the American farm scene.

Courtesy of Jacob W. Wittmer, Employee Communications and Community Relations Manager Sperry New Holland, New Holland, Pennsylvania 17557