I know many hay producers reading this article are frustrated by the rainy weather. They know that forage quality is declining with each day that goes by (and why did I have to state the obvious, right?). However, I want to urge hay producers to change their focus and be patient, to make sure their hayfields are dry enough to support their equipment before they try to get out on them once the sun starts to shine again.
The loss of quality in one cutting, even the complete loss of the value of one cutting, is less than ruining a forage stand for the remainder of its productive life by running equipment on ground that is still too soft, especially if it is a younger stand. So do what is really easy for me to say, but super hard to practice right now – just be patient. Take the long look and wait until the field is dry enough to support the equipment without damaging the forage stand.