U.S. Department of Agriculture experiments indicate that cattle prefer afternoon-cut hay over morning-cut hay. Is there any science behind this claim? Well, cells make sugars and carbohydrates in the presence of sunlight. And that means that afternoon-cut hay may contain a higher percentage of highly digestible sugars and carbohydrates. Plants cut in the morning partially deplete their supply while respiring or using energy through the night. Cutting your hay this summer after the forage has had time to soak up the sun may allow you to serve up higher quality hay any time of day this winter.