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  1. #11
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Silver Creek, NY
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    Case-IH Farmall 45A, Kubota M8540 Narrow, New Holland TN 65, Bobcat 331, Ford 1920, 1952 John Deere M, Allis Chalmers B, Bombardier Traxter XT, Massey Harris 81RC and a John Deere 3300 combine, Cub Cadet GT1554

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    If you are use to cutting with a straight sickle mower then there could be a problem. The simple sickle mower leaves the hay right where you cut it. Spread out.

    The mower/conditioners move the hay inward and even with a wide swath you still have the hay merged in some. I can't speak for the hay farmers in your area but if they are getting moldy hay it is not from the conditioner, it is from not raking properly. All the conditioner does is crimp the stems on stemy crops that helps reduce drying time by giving moisture more places to escape.

    If you are doing alfalfa then I would definitely go with a conditioner.

    As for bearings, I had to replace the upper conditioner rolls right side bearing on my discbine this winter. Bearings do wear out but it is not a big deal to replace one.

    You do not have your location filled out but I am going to assume you are from Nebraska as that is all I can make sense out of your sreen name (Nebraska Rancher?). If so I would suggest you talk to Bill Wilson as he is much smarter then I am and should be able to explain why your neighbors might be having trouble with their hay. He is located in Texas and is a great guy with a wealth of information. You can post your questions for him on this site Crop Talk His username is Hay Wilson

  2. #12
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    I guess I'll throw my thoughts in. I had been cutting with a sickle based conditioner until I hit a hidden stump in a neighbor's field 4 years ago, and that pretty much did the haybine in.

    I bought a Krone 8' (roughly) disc mower and don't regret it one bit. BTW, this mower is totally shaft and gear driven, similar I believe to the Deere. It has been absolutely troublefree.

    Drying time is a little longer than a conditioner, so I tedder with a 4 basket.

    Keeping the mower at PTO speed, I've never had a clog.

    It has the breakaway which has come in handy, reference the demise of my MO-CO. Since I hardly use my rotary mower anymore and use the disc instead, the only time I have a debris problem is when I set the cut real high, for instance, when doing pasture trim work. This can expose the cutting head from under the curtain a little more and move the trajectory path up.

    My experience is if you can stay in the seat and don't have any obstacles in the field that's your cutting speed.

    One thing to consider is that there is a fair amount of weight on the back especially when the cutter bar is up. The tractor I have now is 65 PTO hp, MWFD with 500 lbs. of front weight and that handles it very well.

    As was pointed out before, dragging all that weight over the ground does burn a noticeable amount more fuel, but to me that's a very acceptable trade-off.

  3. #13
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2003
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    MN
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    Ford 960, 7700, TW20, 1720; IHC H, 300; Ollie S77

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    As Robert mentions, we have to assume you are in Nebraska. I aree with his message, check out Hay Wilson.

    Here in Minnesota, and probably in NY too, we need to wait 3-5 days for hay to dry out after cutting. A conditioner can take one to two days off of that wait. Which is a good thing, with all the rain we get! Almost impossible to make stemmy hay, such as alfalfa, without a conditioner.

    It is hard for me to relate to the short drying times you have, so my advise on hay making probably diesn't help you.... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    One does not really use the conditioner to make swathes ready to bale. The conditioner cracks the stems in the hay, so that the juice can dry out of the stems quicker. Thus the stems & the leaves dry out at the same time. One should typically rake either conditioned or mowed hay into a windrow tho, let the other side dry.

    The conditioner is not causing the mold, it is poor operators not doing things right.

    If you need to speed up hay drying, or less mold, a conditioner is what will help. Not hurt.

    --->Paul

  4. #14
    Veteran Member
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    Welfare Capital of the World...KY
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    2009 Mahindra 3316 HST-2008 Mahindra 7010 cab - 2004 Mahindra 6000 4X4

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    Disc mowers are absolutely wonderful, once you buy one you will wonder why you have waited. I bought a new First Choice 8ft cut and have used to cut about 350 acres over 2 years and have had no trouble at all. I've not used the Vermeer brand but they look to be an excellent machine. I agree you will basically double the amount you can mow in the same amount of time.
    Check out the Fort First Choice brand they are a good tough machine.

  5. #15
    Bronze Member
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    Mar 2005
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    Tyro, Arkansas
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    M5700, L245DT

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    I was wondering if a Disk mower can be used to cut up or down grade like on a pond levee or ditch bank

  6. #16
    Super Member
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    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    Unless you had very thin short sparse hay I can't imagine mowing in the morning and haying in the afternoon. In Idaho it's as dry as anywhere in the country and it takes at least two days before we can bale. Alfalfa up to three days. If you're getting moldy hay that's a case of the person not taking caqre of the hay properly. 900 acres is alot of hay to do. Why not get a swather if you really want to cut your haying time down??

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Nebr.
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    1855 Oliver turbo diesel 99hp, 2510 JD with 85hp+ turbo diesel, 630 jd gas, 530 jd gas, 520 jd gas, 660 oliver gas, Ford Golden Jubilee, Allis D14, and a few Bs and misc.

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    I've only bought some of that hay that was moldy, and only some of what was purchased, was moldy, not a whole lot. As I said in post #839103, I've seen the centers of the rows that come out of the mowers not get dry... in places. I imagine they just bale when the field is ready, and keep going if they run into a patch that isn't completely dry. The volume most people do around here it would not be possible to take time to check/wait/go around absolutely everything that wasn't perfect. I guess I would if I would be selling hay, but that's me, and they don't. I didn't go into detail on this because I don't have a problem with mold, ever. I guess I shouldn't have mentioned the mold....

    Very few have swathers/mocos around here, very seldom are there any used ones (very used if they are, sickle only), and new ones are far too expensive (I know they're bigger too). I'd like something faster than I have, but I have to look at the $, and I don't want something that will need constant repairs (although I can fix anything myself, I just don't like constant problems). I don't see it drying any better or faster than it does, and my rake works well.

    Anyway I have grass only, and yes it is possible to mow in the morning and bale in the afternoon. Not every day, and not in every patch, but it is very possible. It has to be dry, above 90, (or 100...), and it works nicely when it works.

    I take it the disk mower is the best option then.... If a person can go in the ballpark of twice as fast as a similar sickle, then it should be at least close to if not faster than the 18' then. Thanks for all the advice, I'll see if I can get one this season. I kind of wondered when virtually everyone I know has sickle mowers. Most of them have a lot more ground to cover than me, and more help, I thought perhaps they knew something I didn't about them. The ones I did ask said they didn't know anything about disk mowers though I guess.

    For some reason I've never taken many pictures of the field when working, but I have one picture more than a month before haying (in a patch I don't hay though, but next to it). Also another in a field, but on a dry strip that doesn't get mowed, after the rest was mowed. See homepage in profile. Save the pictures and then view them to make them bigger.

  8. #18
    Veteran Member dgl24087's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    Va/WV
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    1975 John Deere 1530

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    One of my uncles was one of the first to ever use a disc mower wher I am from, and was amazed at the time it took off the mowing stage of hay production. This was back in the 70's, not exactly sure of the year. Since then, I believe between he and my cousin, they have used 4 or 5, all but one being New Holland, the other a Kuhn. Don't be fooled by names, NH, Gehl, Case, as well as Deere, have their premium disc mowers manufactured for them by Kuhn. Their economy disc mowers are manufactured by Fort, but with Kuhn components in the cutting bar. I've seen these in action, and the only thing to slow you down is the roughness or steepness of the ground, or your nerve. On relatively good terrain, you can run your tractor wide open with no problem.

  9. #19
    Veteran Member
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    HayDR's Avatar
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    Johnson City, TN
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    JD 2040,2240, 2355, 2755, 4055

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    New Holland had Kuhn mowers until the Mid-1990's but not now. Their shaft drive mowers are a New Holland product and their economy mowers are made by Sitrex with a Comer cutterbar.

    Gehl does use the Kuhn cutterbars.

    Case has never used Kuhn. Case has over the years used Lely and New Idea products.

    Deere's 3 point mowers are Kuhn's.

    Fort Pegoraro is separate manufacturer owned by the Morra Family and part of AGRO SPA . The Fort mower cutterbars look like a Kuhn but are made 100% by MBS another company of the ARGO Group. I have been in the factory. Fort also makes mowers for First Choice, Darrell Harp & Farmtrac. The current Kuhn hitch has patent protection left on it for 10 more years and the Fort/ Morra hitches are different from Kuhn.
    Mark Carter

  10. #20
    Veteran Member
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    2009 Mahindra 3316 HST-2008 Mahindra 7010 cab - 2004 Mahindra 6000 4X4

    Default Re: Sickle or disk mower

    What about the Vermeer? Who makes it? Is Fort/First Choice really an economy model? I've run mine hard and long and not had any problems with it? 3yrs about 1000 rolls cut!
    Thinking about going down a disc so I'm interested in what's best. Don't see anything round here cept the First Choice and Deere.

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