Swathing Hay

Hay is cut by a swather with a sickle that moves about two inches so quickly side to side it is a blur to see.

Pat Stice swathing hay into windrowsAs the hay is cut, it is moved to the center of the machine by a large auger.  The fresh cut hay is then squeezed though a top and bottom roller to break cells and allow faster drying.  The row of hay comes out of the center back of the swather and is called a windrow.  Hay producers monitor and utilize many weather reports to cut and bale in dry weather.  It is important to get the hay baled and under a roof as soon as possible to maintain high nutrient value.