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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I grew up custom baling for a guy 25 years ago and have lived in a rural community all my life. I’ve never seen tedders used before. Is it the new thing? What is the science behind it? Totally serious question getting my 14 year old set up to do some haying to help him earn some money and life skills. Just really curious about tedders and if we need one and when to use it
 

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Tedding initially spreads the crop to take full advantage of the sun. Subsequent passes aim to get the green underneath exposed for faster drying. Not sure what your location is, but here in the northeast our baling windows and humidity make it challenging to make high-quality hay without a tedder. The sooner you can go from cut to bale, the more feed value (and color) you will retain.
 

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Tedders are a game changer and a good wildcard against bad weather looming. You will gain at least a full day if not two. Sometimes in heavy crop the bottom never does dry but a tedder changes that. I highly recommend owning one.
 

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I will be posting a video to my YouTube channel (The Scientist Hay Farmer) on tedders soon, actually.

Basically a tedder takes a dense windrow of grass and spreads it out evenly so the grass is getting thinned out and has more equal exposure to sunlight and drying. It also fluffs up the grass so it's resting on top of the stubble instead of mashed on the ground, and the fluffiness promotes air movement through the grass as well.

Tedding will take a day off dry time and prevents a situation from showing up on raking day and still having too green grass at the bottom of the windrow. They're a lifesaver for hay that has been rained on too, and will greatly aid in getting it dried out vs raking up into windrows.

Personally I can't imagine doing hay without tedding. My tedder was down for most of the season last year and I was lost without it.

It's a minimal time investment through the field but pays off big time.

There is a short segment of tedding here, if you want to see one in action. It makes a lot of sense why it's beneficial just by watching what it does.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great information thank you guys. Hayjosh I will check out your channel. Now I’ll have even more questions about tedders and what to look for especially since they don’t get used around here much. I’ll need to see what kind and brand to look for and tractor requirements etc.
 

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It’s interesting reading about areas without tedding, it’s been a part of hay making locally since the days of hand mowing. Still find 1800’s horse drawn tedders in peoples junk piles here.
 

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I cut with a disc mower and usually follow right behind with a tedder. Even without a conditioner I can get hay ready in 2 days with perfect conditions, 3 days even if less than optimal conditions.
Using a tedder makes much better hay in my experience.
 

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Even though I am just getting into it, I got a tedder to help dry out the hay, makes it much easier to dry out. I cut it when the forecast showed low rain percentage, but the very next day, that changed and we had bouts of rain, didn't have a tedder, and no way to help dry without raking, which only helps to turn over and over. Found one not too far away, bought it, tedded with it that night, end of next day it all dried, then it rained again! Since it was already spread out, it dried up rather quickly that by afternoon it was ready to rake and bale.

Of course because of the forecast changing all the hay turned brown. Smells good and the horse is eating it, so must be ok.
 

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Sw missouri....in good weather if we need to we can bale in 24hrs....cut one morning into a windrow with a moco to let ground dry between rows...3-4 hrs later tedd it out flat....noon the next day rotary rake it and bale....rarely do we need to push and we plan on 48hr baleing ....if we are pushing we may tedder again the next morning before raking...as mentioned by others I would find it hard without a tedder...in light hay we normally skip tedding and lay the hay wide out of the cutter...all depends on weather,sun,humidity etc ...but 48hrs is easy to 14% hay
 

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When I grew up hay farming back east, the farmer I worked for had a tedder. The first season I worked there he mostly used it to to kick out windrows if they got rained on from what I remember. Then he started using it more and more, and we would usually cut at least a full day off drying time. I grew up with the handed-down rule that you need four good days to make dry hay. Today, I would not try to make hay without one. When weather conditions are right, I can bale dry hay in 2-1/2 days by using a tedder.

In recent years, tedding hay has become very popular here in Wisconsin. When I first moved here in 2013 most equipment dealers didn't stock many tedders, and I was told they hadn't had much call for them. Then we had a couple of wet years, and then a really really wet season that caused a hay shortage. With less drying time between rain events the idea of using tedders took off. Now they are all over the place and I see people using them everywhere.

I started with a two rotor because it's what I could afford, then sold it a few years later and got a four rotor to save time.

I made first cutting very early this season, mowed in the late evening on May 31st, tedded in the morning, tedded again that afternoon, raked and started baling the day after that. Moisture was 12-15% on the bale monitor. Twine quality issues (Should have started with new twine...) forced me to wait to finish baling the next day, and the moisture content was too low for the bale monitor to read.
 

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For the small amount invested, a tedder will make you more money, due the good hay quality, and put up dry, than any other piece of hay equipment in your arsenal. I tedd with an old 2 basket Haybob. About 20 minutes per acre. Would I rather be back at the house drinking coffee, than tedding with a 2 basket?...Nope.
 

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For the small amount invested, a tedder will make you more money, due the good hay quality, and put up dry, than any other piece of hay equipment in your arsenal. I tedd with an old 2 basket Haybob. About 20 minutes per acre. Would I rather be back at the house drinking coffee, than tedding with a 2 basket?...Nope.
20 min per acre!? Wow. I can Ted about 10 acre/hr with my 4 basket.
 

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Here in Holland and Germany we see tedders from 10 till 15 meters on commercial farms. They are common nowadays. 4 and 6 rotor tedders are for "hobby" farmers. I can't imagine making hay without tedding in our wet climate here.

You Europeans are about 10 years ahead of us in Ag tech though. You’ve got it figured out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well my buddy got it cut today now you guys have me wanting a Tedder. It’s going to be in the upper 70’s lower 80‘s all week. Hopefully we can bale Wednesday or Thursday. Rain coming Friday. Fingers crossed his new to him baler work. If not I’ll have to pay to have it baled
 
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