Depending on the climate where you live you might be able to mow hay up to six times a year. Of course, there are other factors to take into consideration. Do you need hay that has the highest possible protein content or is volume your priority? The weekly weather forecast will affect your decision as well. You do not want your hay to get rained on after it is mowed, especially after it is dry enough to bale. Hay that has been rained, on loses some nutritional value, loses color, can mold, and may not sell. When you mow a hay field at the correct time, you can maximize your profits.
Things You'll Need
Open up the mower when you arrive at the field. Turn on the PTO. Set the tractor to the correct RPM. Begin to drive forward and lower the mower to the ground at the same time.
Drive around the perimeter of the field a few times until there is enough room to turn the tractor and mower around on the headlands. Decide if you will cut the field in half or thirds.
Mow down the center of the field, depending on width, after you have mowed the headlands. Mow straight rows from one end of the field to the other end. Make your rows as close as possible to reduce fuel consumption and time, but far enough to turn the tractor and mower around in one smooth motion.
Continue mowing straight paths, back and forth across the field, until the entire center is mowed.
Turn your tractor around and mow the outside round. This is the outer perimeter that your tractor was driving on when you made your first trip around the field.
Wait for the hay on the ground to dry on top and then rake it over.