From The Drivers Seat
For those wondering about what it is like to put up hay on our ranch, I have tried to put together some short videos to give a sense of what takes place.
Swathing / Cutting
We wait until the dew has burned off the hay before cutting. It is important that the water has been turned off and that the ground moisture has dropped to a point so moisture does not transfer from the ground to the hay, preventing proper drying.
We rake in the early morning, while there is still dew on the windrow with alfalfa, so the leaves stay on the stem and the stems do not break. Grass hay is raked in the afternoon, with out dew, so it does not get trapped and cause mildew.
We bale grass and grass-alfalfa hay in the early evening and early afternoon, so it is soft, but not damp. Dew is not our friend when baling grass as it will cause the hay to mildew and mold. With alfalfa, it makes the best hay when baled in the morning as the dew is coming off, but we also bale in the late night/early morning as the dew is coming on when our windows for morning baling are short. We want the dew with the alfalfa, so we do not lose leaves off the stem and the stems do not shatter.