Early on farmers cut grass with a scythe and left it to dry in the field. They then raked the hay into rows using hay rake. The hay was stored is a stack near the barn or carried into the barn and lifted into the hay loft or mow in a sling made of rope. The farmer used a sharp, hay knife or hay harpoon to cut out a section of hay without disturbing the rest of the hay. They could sometimes us a hay hook. They could then use a hay fork to pitch the hay down to the cows tied up below.