What Is the Difference Between a Hay Tedder & a Hay Rake?


Farmers have a variety of choices for equipment that rakes, spreads and merges hay before baling. They must consider crop yield, harvest losses, contamination of the crop and drying time when deciding which machinery will best suite their needs.

Hay Tedder

  • A hay tedder is used to spread out the hay crop as wide as the cut width of the hay conditioner or mower. When fields are damp due to rain or high humidity, the use of a hay tedder helps the crop to dry out before being raked and baled. This procedure not only aerates the swath of hay, but also allows the sunlight to dry the hay on the field. When the hay is in a small windrow, the sunlight will mostly hit bare ground and will not affect the majority of the hay in the windrow. If hay with high moisture content is baled and stored, it will most likely mold and be unsuitable for livestock feed. The moisture content in hay when baled should be 18 percent to 20 percent for small bales and 16 percent or less for large bales.

Hay Rake

  • A hay rake is used to bring hay into windrows and prepare it to be baled. There are three different types of hay rakes: parallel bar, rotary and wheel. Forward motion of the tractor and engaging the wheels of the rake into the crop powers the wheel rakes. Wheel rakes are not PTO driven, which hinders their ability to work well with hay that is heavy and wet.

Losses and Drying Rates

  • Tedders cause more leaf loss than rakes, especially in alfalfa hay, which is partially dry. However, tedders do allow for a quicker drying rate because of the wide swath in which the hay is placed.

    In a study by Savoie et al., they found that "tedding increased the drying rate slightly but the results were not very consistent. During good drying conditions, tedding did not appear to be beneficial but may be beneficial after a heavy rain, which creates a windrow that was dense and matted."

Contamination and Damage of Crop

  • It is important to good crop harvesting and the maintenance of the equipment to produce windrows that do not contain rocks, soil, excess ash or other debris. Use of tedders that pick up the crop and move it across a conveyer and then place it back on the ground aids in keeping the crop from being contaminated. Additionally, with hay rakes, inadequate tension of the rake springs will cause the teeth to wear faster and allow for greater contamination of the hay.

When to Use

  • In order to speed the drying time of the hay, tedding is generally done the second day after the hay has been mowed or after a heavy rainfall. Raking, however, is not done until the hay has less than 35 percent to 45 percent moisture content. Raking is usually done right before baling.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Making hay image by Allen Stoner from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Harvest Hay

  • How to Round Rake a Hay Field

    One or two days after mowing your hay field you will need to rake the hay so it can continue to dry....

  • How to Cut Hay With a Sickle Mower

    Growing hay is a very rewarding farm crop since you can make anywhere from $60 to $200 a ton for the hay...

  • How to Make Hay

    Hay is essentially dried vegetation---legumes (such as alfalfa) or grasses (such as timothy) that are cut and allowed to try, then baled,...

  • How to Use a Hay Tedder

    You can't predict the weather with certainty. Though the forecast calls for no rain in your four- to seven-day drying period between...

  • How to Build a Hay Rake

    Hay rakes are used on farms for raking straw and hay. Hay rakes are made out of either metal or wood. Both...

  • How to Use a Side Delivery Hay Rake

    Properly working a side delivery hay rake accomplishes two important tasks. Side rakes help situate cut hay into rows for easier baling....

  • What Is the Rake of a Roof?

    Roofing terminology may be difficult to understand unless you are a builder or roofer. Terms are used to break down the various...

  • Equipment Needed to Harvest Hay

    Harvesting hay is a time-consuming project. Special equipment designed for this purpose is necessary to be successful. The equipment used to harvest...

  • York Rake Tips

    A York rake is a brand of landscaping rake that can be used for a variety of landscaping tasks. Several different attachments...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make an Elevated Dog Feeder

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!