How to Stay Cool and Comfortable During Haymaking Season


How to Stay Cool and Comfortable During Haymaking Season

How to Beat the Heat with Essential Farm Clothing for Haymaking

Here at Hollands Country Clothing, we're all about embracing the everyday joys of rural life. From the crack of dawn to the setting sun, there's always something special happening in our neck of the woods.

As haymaking season creeps closer, farmers are gearing up for the busiest time of the year. But amidst the flurry of activity, we're sure there's one thing on their minds: how to keep cool and comfortable in the summer heat. 

Choosing the right clothing is an important part of preparation for making hay, as it helps reduce the risk of overheating and protects you from the sun and other harmful objects, like insects or thorny vegetation.

So, in this blog post, we thought we'd share a few of our top product recommendations to make that side of things just that little bit easier for all you hardworking farmers out there. Whether you're a farmer yourself or you're just curious about the ins and outs of British agriculture, Hollands is here to help.

Archive photo of farmers on Holland farm standing with horse pulling stacks of hay

Haymaking at Disley Hall Farm between the Wars – with horse and cart, pre tractor, pre bails.


Understanding Haymaking Basics

Before we jump in, it's worth talking a little about what haymaking actually involves. In doing so, we can see just why it's so crucial to keep cool and comfortable with the proper attire. 

This essential and labour-intensive process is a critical period in the agricultural calendar, and it involves the harvesting, processing, and storing of grass or other plants to create high-quality hay, a vital feed source for livestock during the winter months when fresh pasture is scarce.


How to Make Hay

The typical schedule follows a well-defined sequence of tasks:

  1. Cutting Phase: Typically begins in late spring or early summer when the grass is at its peak nutritional value. Specialised machinery such as mowers or haybines is used to harvest the vegetation while still green and lush.
  2. Drying Phase: After cutting, the freshly harvested grass is allowed to dry in the field for a day or two, depending on weather conditions. Raking may also be employed to facilitate the drying process by turning the grass to expose it to the sun and air more effectively.
  3. Baling Phase: Once the grass has reached the desired moisture content, it is ready for baling. Baling compresses the dried vegetation into compact, easy-to-handle packages, typically cylindrical or rectangular in shape. This facilitates storage, transportation, and feeding of the hay to livestock throughout the winter.

Timing is everything here, as farmers must carefully monitor weather forecasts and field conditions to maximise both yield and forage quality.

Choosing the best clothes to see you through the season means having one less thing to worry about, so you can see why this serves as a vital part of the preparations.


Challenges of Haymaking

As much as we love the sights and sounds of haymaking season, we also know it comes with its fair share of challenges.

Workers out in the fields can be subject to the following:

  1. Exposure to Heat and Sun: Haymaking usually takes place during the hottest months of the year, so this means high temperatures and prolonged sun exposure. This can lead to heat stress, dehydration, and sunburn if proper precautions are not taken.
  2. Physical Exertion: Farmers don't just get to lie back and sunbathe! Haymaking is physically demanding work that requires long hours of manual labour, including lifting, stacking, and hauling bales. This can lead to fatigue, muscle strain, and even injuries if workers do not take regular breaks and practice proper lifting techniques.
  3. Risk of Insect Bites: Working in the fields also exposes workers to biting insects such as mosquitoes, flies, and ticks. Apart from being a nuisance, insect bites can transmit diseases and cause discomfort, further complicating the work environment.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can help combat these issues, which is what we're here to share!

Malcolm Holland balling hay on the Holland family farm
Young Malcolm Holland on the Holland family farm in Disley with his prized bailer, a symbol of his dreams to become a successful contractor for local farmers! Pictured against the backdrop of the scenic wooded hills above Lyme Park.

Choosing the Right Clothing

First and foremost, workers should ensure proper hydration by drinking plenty of water and having a flask of tea on hand. They also should take regular breaks and seek shade whenever possible to prevent overheating. Even if you have all the best clothing in the world (perhaps after shopping at Hollands?), you can't skip these steps. Hydrate and take breaks in the shade - farmers know it's non-negotiable. 

Then, when it does come to your clothing for making hay, there are a few things to take into consideration:

  1. Breathability: Opt for clothing made from breathable fabrics such as cotton, that allow air to circulate and moisture to evaporate, helping to keep you cool and dry during long hours of physical labour. No shirts clinging to your back or making you feel like you're wearing 5 layers at once!
  2. Sun Protection: Look for clothing with built-in sun protection features, such as UPF-rated fabrics or garments treated with UV-blocking coatings. Wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved shirts can also provide added protection for exposed skin, reducing the risk of sunburn and skin damage.
  3. Durability: Haymaking can be tough on clothing, with potential exposure to rough surfaces, sharp objects, and abrasive materials. Choose garments made from durable fabrics that can withstand the rigours of fieldwork without tearing or wearing out prematurely.
  4. Insect Resistance: Consider clothing treated with insect-repellent finishes or infused with insect-repellent properties to deter biting insects such as mosquitoes and ticks. 

With this in mind, we've gathered some of our top picks for the season to help you tackle the job with ease.


Product Spotlight

Here's a look at some of our most popular products that we know will make your haymaking season a success, keeping you cool and comfortable as you tend to your work. 



Champion Short Sleeve Tattersall Shirt in red, green, and blue against a white background

We've got some fantastic shirts that are perfect for hardworking farmers this haymaking season. These shirts combine comfort, durability, and practicality to keep you cool and protected throughout the day.

For gents, we'd recommend:

For women, we'd recommend:



Hoggs of Fife Clyde Comfort Denim Jeans in Stonewash against a white background

When it comes to legwear, durability and flexibility are key. The right pair of trousers can make a big difference in your comfort and efficiency while working in the field.

For gents, consider:

For ladies, you might like:



Hoggs of Fife Zeus Safety Dealer Boots in brown against a white background

Working around machinery and equipment means safety boots are a must to protect your feet. We have some excellent options to ensure you stay safe and comfortable.

For farm boots, consider:

For safety wellies, we'd suggest:


Hats & Caps

Tilley Hats Airflo Medium Brim Recycled Hat In Olive against a white background

A good hat can make or break your farm clothing!

Here are a few styles that combine protection and comfort:


Insect Repellent Clothing

Craghoppers NosiLife Ultimate Hat In Parchment On A White Background

As we mentioned earlier, protecting yourself from pesky insects can be half the battle when it comes to making hay. Investing in specially designed clothing can provide invaluable peace of mind.

Consider the following items:

If you need more advice or have any questions about these products or others, please don't hesitate to reach out to our friendly customer service team. We're always here to help—just give us a call or drop us an email, and we'll make sure you have everything you need for a successful season.


Getting Involved in Haymaking

If you've been inspired to roll up your sleeves and get involved in haymaking activities, here are some ways you can lend a hand:

  1. Volunteer at Local Farms: Reach out to local farms in your area and ask about volunteer opportunities during haymaking season. Many farmers welcome extra hands to help with tasks such as cutting, raking, baling, and stacking hay. It's a great way to get outdoors, connect with nature, and learn firsthand about the joys and challenges of farming life.
  2. Join Community Haymaking Events: Keep an eye out for community haymaking events or festivals happening in your area by checking on your local Facebook groups or city council websites. These events often involve traditional haymaking demonstrations, hands-on activities for all ages, and opportunities to support local farmers and artisans. 
  3. Share Your Skills: We appreciate that not everyone will physically be able to help. But don’t worry - there are plenty of other ways to show your support. You could provide meals or water for busy workers, or perhaps if you’re techy-minded, offer to give the machinery equipment a once-over. Or even just shout your local farmers a pint at the pub after a long day!
  4. Spread the Word: Finally, help raise awareness about the importance of haymaking and the role it plays in supporting local agriculture. Share your experiences, photos, and stories on social media, and encourage others to get involved in haymaking activities in their own communities.

This season is also a great opportunity for work experience if you’ve got youngsters in the household. Not only do they get something great to put on their CV, but they are also helping give back to their community at the same time.



As we wrap up, we'd like to take the opportunity to thank all the hardworking farmers out there for everything they do for us.

Hollands is proud to offer a wide selection of farm clothing that meets the needs of farmers this haymaking season. Whether you're looking for breathable shirts, durable trousers, protective footwear, or insect-repellent clothing, we have plenty of choices to keep you cool, comfortable, and safe. 

And for more tips, stories, and updates, don't forget to join our growing community by signing up for our newsletter. Stay in the loop with our regular blogs and product recommendations delivered right to your inbox.


About the Author

Robert Coates is no stranger to the world of farming clothes! Residing on his family farm in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, he understands the importance of durable, practical garments for those who work the land. Whether he's discussing the latest innovations in waterproofing or sharing tips for selecting the best wellies, Robert's expertise is built upon his daily interactions with the challenges and rewards of agricultural life. 

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