Hay should be tedded when it is at the right moisture content for baling. If it is too wet, it may lead to moldy bales and hay loss. The best time to ted hay is when the moisture content is between 18-22%, although this will vary depending on conditions and moisture levels of the soil.
To know when to ted, farmers should test their hay for moisture and adjust their timing accordingly. Once the hay is tedded, the temperature of the soil should be monitored to ensure the hay dries to the recommended levels.
The soil temperature should be between 88-96°F for best results.
What is the purpose of tedding hay?
Tedding hay is the process of spreading hay out in a thin layer to allow it to dry evenly in the sun. This process is an important tool of haymaking and is typically used by farmers to dry newly-cut grass before baling it.
By spreading out the hay, more surface area is exposed to the sun, speeding up the drying process. The more even the ted, the less prone the hay is to mould, which can lead to poor nutrition for livestock or reduce the quality of hay for other uses.
A less widely known purpose of teddding hay is to help reduce the amount of weeds and other undesired plant parts that will be included in the bales as the hay dries and is gathered for storage. When hay is tedded, all visible weeds and undesired parts can be gathered and discarded, ensuring only good-quality hay is eventually baled.
At the same time, the process of spreading the hay allows new weeds to germinate and emerge, which can then be gathered and removed, further improving hay quality.
What month do you cut hay?
The best time to cut hay for most parts of the northern hemisphere is typically between late May and early August. Depending largely on the local climate and geographic location, the optimal month for harvesting hay can be as early as mid-May in more temperate climates and as late as mid-August in more extreme weather patterns.
When hay is cut at the correct point of maturity, the grass is harvested before it is too ripe and the hay contains more moisture. Additionally, when hay is cut late in the year, the quality of the hay is greatly reduced, while animals may not get the same nutritional benefits out of it.
It is important to prepare for a hay cutting season well in advance. Prior to the season begin, hay should be fertilized and prepped for the upcoming season. Immediately before cutting, hay fields should be mowed to keep the stalks uniform in height, and hay should be cut when grass is at its most productive and before the plants become too mature.
After mowing, hay should be dried in the field for a few days before it is baled, cut, and stored.
In the end, it is important to pay close attention to local climate, geography, and other conditions to determine when the optimal time to cut hay would be. The best time to cut hay can vary significantly from location to location, and so it is important to prepare well in advance of the hay season and pay attention to local conditions for the best results.
What is the difference between raking and tedding hay?
Raking and tedding hay are two distinct methods for gathering up hay. Raking hay involves running a rake through cut field hay, turning it over to allow for more even drying in the sun. The rake has several teeth that helps to lift and spread the hay, making it easier to evenly dry and cure.
Tedding hay involves using a tedder, which is a machine with two side arms with metal arms that rotate. These rotating arms spread the hay across the field and allow it to dry evenly. This method is generally faster than raking, but it can also result in some of the hay being broken up, making it less valuable.
Additionally, tedding hay can leave the hay scattered in patches, which can be more difficult to gather than the hay gathered by raking.
How late is too late to cut hay?
Cutting hay too late in the season means you are missing out on vital growth time for your hay crop, leading to poorer quality crop yields. Ideally, you should aim to cut hay when the plant has reached full maturity, about a month before the first frost can be expected in your area.
Cutting too late in the season can also mean that you are exposing your hay crop to the conditions of the cooler fall weather, resulting in wetter grass that can lead to bruises and mold growth on the harvested hay, resulting in losses.
It is recommended to start harvesting your hay when the first two thirds of the world has been cut and dried, to ensure that your hay dries quickly, and you can maintain the highest quality and yields.
How long should hay sit before raking?
The length of time that hay should sit before it is raked can depend on a variety of factors, such as the type of hay, the weather, and the size of the field. Generally, hay should sit in the field for at least one week before it is raked.
However, this timeframe can be extended to up to two weeks or more depending on environmental factors. The ideal time to rake hay is when it is slightly damp and just beginning to dry. Waiting for this ideal time will help ensure a uniform dryness throughout the hay bale.
Additionally, allowing hay to sit for too long can lead to an increased risk of crop diseases, as certain fungus and mold may begin to grow. Therefore, it is important to monitor the hay conditions throughout the waiting period and rake it just before it becomes overripe.
How many times a year do farmers cut hay?
The answer to this question largely depends on the type of hay and the climate of the geographic region. Generally speaking, hay is cut once a year, usually in late spring or early summer. However, the exact timing can vary based on a number of factors including the expected harvest date and the type of hay being produced.
For example, if a farmer is producing alfalfa hay, a legume, they may wait until it is at its peak nutritional value before harvesting. In cooler climates, they may wait until late summer, while in warmer climates they may harvest earlier, in the spring.
Farmers may also opt to harvest twice a year, in the spring and late summer, in order to increase their yields. Finally, the farmer’s personal goals and resources, such as labor and hay-making equipment, can also factor into the timing.
When should you cut cattle for hay?
The best time to cut cattle for hay is usually towards the end of the season when the plants are in their optimal growth stage. This is typically when the plants have reached the fourth to the sixth leaf stage, and the amount of glycogen stored in the leaves is at its peak.
By harvesting at this stage, you are able to maximize the nutritional value of the hay. It is important to ensure your cattle’s nutritional needs are met, and cutting hay at the right stage is critical to this.
The hay can be stored for up to 18 months, so cutting at the correct time can allow you to stockpile feed for the winter months. Additionally, it is important to take into account the weather, as you need enough time to cut, cure, and bale the hay before it rains.
Can you cut hay in October?
In general, October is generally not a month that is recommended for cutting hay as the warm summer weather that is typically required for hay production has usually wrapped up by this point in the year.
This means that by October, most hay has already been cut. However, there are certain regions, particularly in the south and southwest parts of the United States, where the weather may still be warm enough and extended enough for hay harvesting to take place into October.
Additionally, depending on the type of hay you are growing (and your region’s climate) spring haying may begin as early as mid- to late-March and may even extend into June and July in some areas, so it is possible to have hay being cut into October in some regions if summer hay is also being harvested.
In areas with a shorter growing season, it is best to plan for a summer haying season of April to September and avoid harvesting late in the year for a better quality of hay.
Should you rake hay with dew on it?
No, you should not rake hay with dew on it. This is because dew can cause the hay to become wet and start to grow mold which is not ideal for either animal or human consumption. The moisture can also negatively affect the hay’s nutrient content as it won’t be as nutritious for animals or humans when it’s wet.
Additionally, it can be dangerous to handle hay with dew on it because the wet surfaces can be slippery and can greatly increase your chances of slipping and falling. Lastly, when hay is wet it is more difficult to properly store.
It’s best to wait until the dew has dried off of the hay before beginning to rake it.
Is hay ruined if it gets wet?
Yes, hay can be ruined if it gets wet. If hay gets wet, mold growth is likely to occur, making it potentially dangerous for animals to consume. Mold growth can also occur if hay is stored improperly in a damp environment or if it is baled too tightly, which can result in a buildup of moisture in the hay.
Typically, when hay gets wet, it begins to lose its nutritional value, reducing the amount of nutrients the animals can get if they eat it. Additionally, wet hay can lead to an increased risk of respiratory diseases in animals due to the mold spores that can be present in wet hay.
The best way to avoid having to deal with wet hay is to store it correctly in a dry place and keep it covered. If it does end up getting wet, it should be spread out so that it can dry quickly to avoid mold growth.
What to do with hay that got wet?
If the hay has gotten wet, then it is important to act quickly and take the necessary steps to ensure it remains of high quality and can be safely used. This means removing the wet hay from the pile and spreading it out so it can air dry in the sun.
Once the hay is dry, it should be baled immediately to prevent spoilage, mold, and heating. During this time, it should be constantly monitored for any signs of spoilage and heat. If the hay was in a round bale, it should be opened and the hay spread out in a wide, shallow pile to encourage aeration and even drying; alternatively, hay can be hang-dried on the barn wall or a fence to help speed up the process and reduce the amount of drying that needs to be done in the sun.
Taking precautions will help to prevent issues associated with wet hay, such as mold and reduced nutritional quality.
Why can’t you put wet hay in a barn?
It’s not advisable to put wet hay into a barn due to the fact that wet hay can encourage the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi that can greatly compromise the air quality within the barn, leading to respiratory problems for the animals and humans living in the barn.
Wet hay can also become infested with mites, beetles and other insects, which can spread throughout the barn, leading to the spread of disease. In addition, wet hay can cause mold, which can be damaging to the structural integrity of the barn and its contents.
The high moisture content also makes it difficult for the hay to store properly, leading to an increased risk of spontaneous combustion.