Economics of swath manipulation during field curing of alfalfa

C. A. Rotz, P. Savoie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The economic values of tedding and swath inversion operations in alfalfa hay production were evaluated with DAFOSYM, a comprehensive model of crop growth, harvest, storage, and feeding on a dairy farm. Twenty-six year simulations determined the long-term performance and economics of the two processes for a variety of management strategies on a representative dairy farm in Michigan. Tedding reduced the average field curing time about 13 h in first cutting and 6 h on later cuttings while swath inversion reduced the average curing time by 1 to 6 h. Mechanical losses caused by tedding were greater than the average rain-induced loss avoided by using the process. With little improvement in the quantity and quality of hay produced, additional machinery and labor costs of tedding decreased farm income. Swath inversion caused less loss, but costs were higher giving a similar range in the loss of farm income. Simulation of the systems on the same farm in Quebec Canada with two cuttings of alfalfa gave similar results. The economic value of swath manipulation treatments was not highly dependent upon any of the major model parameters assumed in the analysis

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-323
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Engineering in Agriculture
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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