OK, I give up, I can't make round bales behind an IH axial flow combine. I'd been told this before but never believed it til now. The straw is broken up so short by the combine that the baler will not feed properly. I tried it early this morning with frost on the straw thinking that would make a difference. I did make one bale after a struggle but spent much more time unplugging straw from the baler pickup.
So I will make a few square bales for bedding as the square baler seems to handle it better. Still have a field of "john deere straw" that I can make some round bales from later. Today I have to get back to swathing flax. Started on it yesterday afternoon and it is slow going. Variable height of the crop means constant adjusting the reel . Too high and the knife will build up with material. Too low and straw will wrap around the reel creating a snowball effect and swath lumps. Bad news for the combine.
I am double swathing it, laying two 21 foot swaths side by side which will save a lot of time combining. It takes a little extra time and work when swathing but will hopefully be worth it and not a big mistake. I'm hoping the double swaths might be more resistant to wind damage too.
As of the 17th I finished combining all the other crops so this flax is the last field, plus a little 3 acre patch of oats where I ran out of flax seed.
The swath deflectors I fabricated for the swather seem to help a little although need a little reinforcing as they bent a little on yesterday's first trial run. Got to get that flax harvested before the large ungulates eat and trample it into the ground. Saw these four nearby a few days ago.