Cutting Hay


Late summer means haying season in the North-central Rockies.  Blue Valley Ranch puts up 1,100 – 1,200 tons of hay every year, most of which is used for winter feed for livestock.  These pictures show the ranch’s assistant manager cutting hay composed primarily of the grass timothy (Phleum pratense).  This particular field was seeded only 2 years ago, and has matured into a good stand despite the drought conditions this year.


Timothy is a cool season perennial grass that makes excellent forage for both livestock and wildlife.  It’s a valuable grass for both pasture and hay as it grows under a wide variety of soil and moisture conditions.



Timothy is an introduced grass native to Europe, and was first found in North America in New Hampshire in 1711 where it was called herd’s grass.  Its modern common name supposedly came from an early 18th century farmer who advocated its use.  While an important component in hay and pasture, Timothy is also a common source of allergies during mid to late summer.


(Photos by Josh Richert)

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