Back in Time - Sickle Bar Mower
|cutting alfalfa with a sickle bar mower|
Before my brother purchased a windrow (aka a swather), he and my Dad cut hay with a sickle bar mower behind the John Deere B. The mower cut the alfalfa about four inches from the ground and it fell flat. Before the hay could be baled, it had to be raked. I don't have a photo of a rake, but it is pulled behind the tractor and off to the side over the cut alfalfa. It has long, thin teeth that fluff the cut alfalfa into windrows
In the mid 1960s my brother bought a windrower (a piece machine that is a mower and a rake in one). You can see the difference in the appearance of the cut alfalfa from a windrower in this 2013 post.
The sickle bar mower was not put into permanent retirement as it was often used to cut weeds along the ditches in the fields.
No matter if it's cut with an old fashioned sickle bar mower or a fancy windrower, the alfalfa smells wonderful right after it is cut. It's even better smelling that freshly plowed soil.