Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Hay

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HAY, the stems and leaves of grasses and other plants cut for fodder, dried in the sun, and stored usually in stacks. The time most suitable for mowing grass intended for hay is that in which the saccharine matter is most abundant in the plants, viz., when the grass is in full flower. For the operation of mowing, dry weather, and, if possible, that in which sunshine prevails, is chosen. Care must be taken to avoid haymaking either under a scorching sun or during the prevalence of rain, and the heaps should never be opened in the morning till the disappearance of the dew. On large farms the work is performed by haymaking machines in conjunction with other agricultural implements.

The total hay crop in the United States for 1920 was estimated at 108,233,000 tons, with a farm value of $1,809,162,000, and the total acreage at 72,830,000 acres. The greatest hay producing States were New York, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and California.