The main equipment used for baling hay includes a tractor, mower, tedder, rake, and baler. Some optional equipment used to bale hay includes an electronic moisture tester, tarp, bale sleeve, storage facility and flatbed.
When the leaves of the hay are fully developed, the hay can be cut with a mower. Three types of mowers used to cut hay are the sickle mower, sickle haybine and rotary disk mower. The rotary disk mower is the most current style of mower as of 2015.
To speed up drying time, a tedder is used to turn the hay. Hay tedders are generally wide units with orbital wheels that lift the hay as they turn.
Either a side-delivery rake or a pin-wheel rake is pulled by a tractor to separate the hay into columns. Sometimes a tedder can be used to rake the hay. Raking also aides in aerating the hay. After the hay is completely dry, a baler is used to separate the hay into round or square stacks.
The electronic moisture tester gauges the moisture level of the hay before it is baled. A tarp or bale sleeve keeps baled hay dry. Baled hay needs to be stored in a barn or some other type of storage facility. A flatbed can be used to move the hay after it has been baled.