Mowing hay in wide swaths usually speeds drying, but narrow ones might work better when soils are waterlogged, says Keith Johnson, Purdue University Extension forage agronomist.

When soils are very wet, he suggests laying the crop in narrow swaths, letting the soil between them dry some, then tedding the forage out onto the drier soil. In ideal drying conditions, you might be able to ted later the same day, says Johnson. Be sure to ted alfalfa when the moisture content is high enough to retain leaves, he adds.

If you lay wide swaths on wet soil, the ground will dry more slowly and swath bottoms will stay wet longer.

“It’s not a routine thing, but that’s the justification in a serious situation,” he says.