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The process of making and baling hay

Once it grows, the hay is ready to harvest. Hay harvest isn’t like other plants.
Once it grows, the hay is ready to harvest. Hay harvest isn’t like other plants.(KMVT)
Published: Aug. 13, 2019 at 6:08 PM MDT
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From May through October, hay farmers are in their busiest season.

It may not look like much, but there is a lot that goes into baling hay.

"You prep the ground, you either air seed the hay seed on, or you drill it into the ground, and you put a bunch of water on it," Austin Rea, local hay alfalfa farmer said.

Once it grows, the hay is ready to harvest. Hay harvest isn’t like other plants.

"It is a little different than most other crops, where in wheat, in grain and in corn, you have one harvest, where in alfalfa you’ll have four sometimes even five harvests in one year," Rea said.

Once it’s ready to harvest, farmers go out with a Swather and cut it in rows.

"It cures, it dries, you need the sun, that’s why it says you know make hay while the sun shines, it’s from making hay," Rea said.

Once the hay is cut, it has to dry. If a farmer doesn’t let it dry long enough, it could light on fire. The hay should be at 12-15 percent moisture level once it’s biled.

"That’s why you get a fire, is actually, if the hay has been baled too wet, so if you get up into the 25-30 percent you’ll most definitely have problems," Rea said.

He says he has a special tool that measures how much moisture is in each bale.

“It’s a miracle that you don’t see more, it’s pretty easy to do," Rea said.

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