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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Tedding hay

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06-29-2010 09:27:52

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Not many in my area ted their hay, a few do. Question is, seems like a tedder is gonna break a lot of the hay up and start loosing some of it. I know it helps to dry faster but just like a hay rake the more you rake it the more you loose. So wont a tedder be kinda a bad thing?? I guess if it was tedded when still green it wouldnt be as much of an issue but after a day or 2 I would think it would start breaking a lot of leaves off. Dont know for sure being I've never ran one before.

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06-30-2010 05:26:13

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to ryanwheelock, 06-29-2010 09:27:52  
We tedd when the hay is green to spread it out, you can be pretty aggressive then, the hay can take it. As it gets dryer, we increase ground speed and reduce tine speed. Last time we tedd the hay is pretty dry and can be brittle, so we're just tweaking the hay to get it stand up a bit, get it off the ground and get the air under it.

You don't have to be a genius to figure out that just like ether pieces of equipment, run run a tedder differently for different conditions...

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gene bender

06-30-2010 02:26:07

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to ryanwheelock, 06-29-2010 09:27:52  
Operator needs to understand haymaking. Now if those devises knocked all the leaves off how would they sell them. Ever been to a hay fair to see how they do it.

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06-30-2010 02:33:34

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to gene bender, 06-30-2010 02:26:07  
When I borrowed the tedder, owner said 540 rpm PTO. I saw how it was throwing stuff and cheated, Just took a liesurely drive around and across the field playing and everthing turned out fine.


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06-29-2010 13:23:12

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to ryanwheelock, 06-29-2010 09:27:52  
My first time and I'm a real honest ta goodness expert now.............

Mowed mid morning and I follewed the mower with a tedder, tedded again the next day mid morning, raked and baled that evening.


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06-29-2010 12:20:27

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to ryanwheelock, 06-29-2010 09:27:52  
Its a function of location and market. Most of my hay goes into barn stored round bales for horses. Color and smell sell it, not quality. With a tedder I can get better color quicker than with any other system. I normally run the tedder as soon as the hay takes on a whitish cast after mowing if using a disc mower. After the haybine I'll usually wait one full day and ted with the dew on, especially in alfalfa. That seems to save the most leaves. Given my preference its cut with the haybine in the evening, skip a day, ted early am the next day, rake when the dew is off but the hay is still soft with moisture, and bale as soon as its dry.

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Nancy Howell

06-29-2010 12:18:41

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to ryanwheelock, 06-29-2010 09:27:52  
Let me start by saying I'm not an expert on tedding hay. To my knowledge, the purpose of tedding hay is to fluff it to speed the curing process, get help the hay cure evenly and eliminate any clumps.

If your hay is already cured enough that tedding would cause leaf shatter, I would think its past the point where tedding would be helpful. Just my opinion.

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JD Seller

06-29-2010 21:29:34

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to Nancy Howell, 06-29-2010 12:18:41  
Nancy you are partially correct. You should be tedding hay either green before full cure OR with a dew on it to toughen it up so you don't lose leaves.
Also you almost NEVER run a tedder at pto speed. You want a fast gear and idle the tractor back. You just want to lift and spread the hay not beat on it.
I saw a guy yesterday tedding in the middle of the afternoon. He was going slow tractor ground speed wide open on the throttle. He was throwing hay thirty feet. LOL I had to go back by later. So I stopped and looked at the hay. Not one leaf left. LMAO

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06-29-2010 12:07:46

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to ryanwheelock, 06-29-2010 09:27:52  
I think as other have said it's all about location.

Here in Maine you have to simply due to weather.

A tedder was the last implement my grandfather purchased back in the late 70s early 80s. Before that I guess he used his old IH rake in "tedder mode" (which from the looks of it was marginal).

Putting up grass I don't think it hurt much at all, in fact it would puff up the hay a bit so the rake didn't miss as much.


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NY 986

06-29-2010 11:52:35

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to ryanwheelock, 06-29-2010 09:27:52  
I would say that about any place in NY would be a good place to own a tedder. About any body that I know that does hay for resale has an arsenal of tedders, wheel rakes, rotary rakes, etc. to match crop and condition. I would say it is more of a matter of not being able to afford one rather than feeling they don't need it as to why most around here that do not have one is the reason. Still a fair amount of guys doing ten or fifteen acres with 1960's vintage equipment.

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06-29-2010 11:23:30

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to ryanwheelock, 06-29-2010 09:27:52  
I would suggest it depends on kind of hay and WHERE YOU LIVE. In the Mid-South (and excluding Sudan-cross hybrids) I would typically rake and bale the second day.........cut on Monday, rake and bale Wednesday May and June. Beginning around the 1st of July, could often rake and bale the next day.......cut on Monday, rake and bale Tuesday afternoon. Hay was some combination of fescue, orchard grass, red, crimson, white or ladino clover, lespedza, hybrid bermuda, etc. Never owned or needed a tedder 'though my dad had one for a couple of years..........

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Kirk Grau

06-29-2010 11:05:58

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to ryanwheelock, 06-29-2010 09:27:52  
I am sure there are regional differences in both practices and weather, but here in South Central PA it seems pretty rare to get a cutting put up without running over it with the tedder. Can't say that it is an automatic practice every cutting, but seems to be the norm.



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Ken Macfarlane

06-29-2010 11:02:34

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to ryanwheelock, 06-29-2010 09:27:52  
Are you grass hay or alfalfa? Grass hay it isn't too bad, just try to do it while it is still wet.

Here you can't make hay in fields that yield anything without tedding. I've tried when my tedder broke.

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06-29-2010 10:18:46

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to ryanwheelock, 06-29-2010 09:27:52  
Maybe I'm a yoyo but I virtually always ted my hay. Believe me I could find other things to do with my time if it weren't necessary to ted my hay. It may be that in other parts of the country moldy hay sells well or maybe most people use preservative and can bale it before it is dried down. But if you have a good thick crop, and there is moisture in the ground you will not get it dry without tedding it. If your hay is so dry that you need to be concerned about leaf shatter, yes, you need to be raking not tedding. But if I try to cut corners on my tedding I will pay in heavy bales. It may be worth your while to talk to the guys in your area to see whose method is producing good quality hay, assuming that that is your goal.

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06-29-2010 10:07:02

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to ryanwheelock, 06-29-2010 09:27:52  
You also don't have to run the tedder in low gear with the engine wide open...

Faster gear, slower engine speed, will cause the tedder to "mix" the hay rather than thrash the bejeezus out of it...
Tedd the hay when it's fairly green still.

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Flurette Farm

06-29-2010 09:51:07

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 Re: Tedding hay in reply to ryanwheelock, 06-29-2010 09:27:52  
Ryan, my feeling on tedding hay is don't do it unless it's necessary for the very reasons you have stated. I know it seems the "in" thing to do but if you have a weather window that allows you put it up with out tedding I recommend it for several reasons.
No. 1 is it throws hay all over and makes it hard to pick up everything when raking. No. 2 is that you do lose a lot of leaves if you don't catch it right and remember hay changes quickly durung the day.
There are times when you should ted and that is when you hay is extremely heavy and may not dry equally, or you've gotten a shower the night before and need to shake the water off it. Never ted because your neighbor does or some yo-yo on here says you should.
Your best bet is to walk your field and make a decision based on what you see in you field.
Good luck......

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