Re: need advice for cutting hay
All very good questions and I can honestly say most of all have been what I have tried to find answers too as we bale our hay as well. Until one of my horses developed IR was never an issue. However for the last several years that we have been baling and testing it for it to be safe for her...we have only changed one thing in our routine of making hay. We do live in a different climate than you, in the southern US....however...we have cut hay early before 10 am and we have cut later in the evening before dark. Both have produced safe hay as far as combined sugar and starch. One thing we have done differently is we purchased a tedder which speeds up drying and doesn't allow for the wide swath of hay to rest on itself only having the top of the row drying in the sun. We tedder right after we cut and if we cut in the morning tedder twice that day or at least twice before we rake it depending on how thick the hay is....This year we had to tedder twice the first day and once the 2nd day before we raked and baled on the 3rd day. The other thing you can do is leave an extra day for drying. If the hay is too mature that option may not be a good one. I have attached 2 links that hopefully can answer some of your questions and I am sure others will chime in with more knowledge but this has been my experience.
Nancy and Akira
3/20/2018 Burkesville KY