Make Hay While The Sun Shines: Tough To Do In 2017

Excessive rain in many parts of the country has made it a tough year to grow quality hay, which will put many farm and horse owners in an a bind as they begin to prepare for winter weather and stockpile hay.

Though it’s July, some farmers have not been able to get a single cutting of hay in yet—in Vermont, it rained 25 days during the month of May. In the Northeast, it traditionally takes hay about three days to cure once it is cut, but really hot, dry conditions can make hay cure more quickly.

Once the hay is on the ground, a tedder is used to lift and spread out the hay so it dries evenly and more quickly. Hay can be tedded multiple times to ensure it is completely dry before it is baled.

Tedding the hay is not only to ensure that the hay doesn’t become moldy; it’s also done to help keep the nutritional value of the hay. Moisture degrades hay’s nutrition, so it’s imperative to get it off the hay as soon as possible and wind helps remove moisture.

Once hay has been tedded, it’s raked into a windrow so that the baler can come through and make the hay into bales. The hay finishes drying while in the windrow. Usually an hour after the hay has been raked into windrows, the baler will drive through the field and bale the hay.

Out West, since the climate is much drier, hay typically does not need to be tedded; it can simply be raked and baled. This makes the bales that generally come from this area of the country much brighter.

It is important to know where your hay comes from and if it has been rained on. It’s also important to make sure bales aren’t moldy, and that it looks fresh and green. It should not be rough to touch of be filled with weeds or brambles. This year more than ever it’s imperative that horse and farm owners be diligent in their quest for quality hay.

Read more at Stable Management.

 

The post Make Hay While The Sun Shines: Tough To Do In 2017 appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

Comments are closed