You can't predict the weather with certainty. Though the forecast calls for no rain in your four- to seven-day drying period between the mowing and final harvesting of your hay, unexpected rain near the end of the week can potentially lengthen that period by several days and even cut into your viable yield. To avoid this, many farmers utilize a hay tedder to speed up the drying process. These tedders spread and invert the hay to circulate air to all parts of the harvest, allowing your hay rake to start the baling process a day or two early.
Mow and condition your hay when the seven-day forecast calls for little to no rain, spreading the harvest as widely as possible with your mowing implement. This will increase the amount of sun that reaches all parts of your cuttings.
Hook the tedder up to your tractor using its three-point or pull hitch, early the morning after you've mowed. Use your tedder even earlier if excessive clumping occurred during the mowing process.
Slowly follow your mower/conditioner's path to invert your hay, speeding drying times as much as 15 to 30 percent, according to the Progressive Hay Grower.
Aim to finish the job before any morning dew fully dries in the late morning.
Rake and bale your rows of dried hay before the next rainfall.