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  1. #1
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default What size rotary cutter?

    What size cutter would be a "nice size" for 100 acres of fields? I understand it's a trade off of size/time/money.

    Just looking for general opinions...right now, we are using a 5' cutter and since I'm starting to do more of the cutting and am NOT retired yet...I'm a bit more jealous of my time cutting than father and uncle in laws.

    Richard

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2002
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    1,726
    Location
    Cambridge, New York
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    JD425 lawn tractor; JD4710 CUT; JD JX75 Walk Behind

    Default Re: What size rotary cutter?

    Richard,

    <font color=blue>What size cutter would be a "nice size" for 100 acres of fields?</font color=blue>

    First criteria to determine is the size of your tractor. The larger the engine and PTO HP, the bigger and wider the cutter you can comfortably use. After you've addressed that issue, then it's the issue with acreage. I'd think you'd want to go with a minimum 6' wide cutter for 100 acres....maybe even 7' if your tractor is large enough. 5' sounds awfully small for that kind od acreage.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Gary_in_Indiana's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
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    Fort Wayne, IN
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    John Deere 4200 MFWD HST w/ JD 420 FEL w/ 61" loader bucket & toothbar & JD 37 BH w/ 12" bucket

    Default Re: What size rotary cutter?

    If you've got the horsepower to pull it, I'd suggest something in the neighborhood of a 21' batwing style. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img] Of course, if you've got the horsepower to pull something like that, I guess you wouldn't be asking on a compact tractor board. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] Rancar is right. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/clever.gif[/img] How big your tractor is will be the determining factor.

    If you look at most of the mower manufacturer's literature and certainly at your tractor manufacturer's literature I'm sure you'll find what the recommendations are for your tractor.

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: What size rotary cutter?

    Richard, I have a neighbor who used to take care of his pastures with a Farmall Super M and a Farmall Super H. He had 5' brush hog, but traded up to a 7' brush hog. And now he has an 85hp Oliver and wishes he'd at least gotten a 10' brush hog, but preferably a 15' batwing.

    Like the other guys said, what size tractor are you going to use it on?

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2002
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    Home-1+ acres New Hope, TX / 24 acres-Fannin County
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    JD 950

    Default Re: What size rotary cutter?

    Richard - Here is a reply I made to another question about cutter size for 8 acres.
    <font color=blue>Consider this. 8 acres = 348,480 square feet.
    If you use a 6' mower, you will probably overlap about 1' each pass to ensure good coverage. That gives a nominal 5' cut each pass. Traveling at 4 miles per hour cutting a 5' path would cut 105,600 sq ft per hour. That would take 3.3 hours to cut 8 acres.
    If you use a 4' mower with a 1' overlap at 4 miles per hour, you would cut 63,360 sq ft per hour. That would take 5.5 hours to cut 8 acres.
    You may overlap a little less, but you can see the difference</font color=blue>
    This was for only 8 acres. I did not rerun the numbers but you could basically multiply by 12 and see that it would take a long, long time to mow 100 acres with a 5' cutter.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    327
    Location
    KC area
    Tractor
    Kubota L3410

    Default Re: What size rotary cutter?

    I'm with these other guys. For me a "nice size" for 100 acres is the biggest I could afford, pull behind the tractor and fit through my gates. I like those big flexible bat-wing mowers the highway department uses.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: What size rotary cutter?

    Well, the tractor size we HAVE, is an International 444 which I understand to be 35/38 hp give or take. I understand the 5' and MAYBE 6' to be nice size for it. Upgrading to a 6' isn't worth cost/benefit to me (as of yet)...sooooooo, this will also mandate a new PTO with more hp!!! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Again, currently, Uncle in law has been cutting farm..takes him about solid week of working during cooler hours of day..and THAT is yet, another concern of mine.. sooooooooo

    my contemplations are taking me away from my REAL desire (L-48 after trading down from Brutus) and considering possibly an M class with cab so Uncle and Father in laws can have some protecton from the elements if they continue to "insist" to do some of this..I really hate seeing them out in the hot sun like that..and I know I hate seeing ME out there too!

    Ok, so upshot is, I'm not talking ONLY a "X" foot cutter, but also a tractor, so we are looking at (M-6800/10'cutter) about $35,000 for a round number.

    Obviousely, I can spend $100K (really I can't) and get a mega machine that will cut farm in 12 minutes. It's all about trade offs and that's what Im' after... the "sweet spot" of 'reasonable time", "reasonable $$$" and LIKE the idea of having a cab..

    Are the "M" series MORE stable on slopes than the L series?
    Does the M series hydro shuttle have a similar "lag" or freewheel tendencies that a GST has when changing gears or direction?

    Any thoughts/suspicisions if the M series is considered for a hydro upgrade?

    I wish this endeavor was ONLY a consideration of what size cutter. I'm SO flabbergasted that these two guys have done this for the last 40 years with a 5' cutter... AND..have NO (perceptable) concerns/thoughts on the benefits of how a wider cutter might save them a load of time.

    I saw a 15' batwing and it is HUGE...as well as the machine needed to pull it...or at least the machine they had it hooked to was a monster. if THAT setup is matched together, then sadly, that (tractor) is overkill and certainly financial overkill for being primarily a field cutter.

    Wouldn't scapling be a bigger issue with a 15' over a 10'? Or, does the batwing configuration of the 15' help reduce that tendency over the 10' NON batwing?

    Thanks
    Richard

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    206
    Location
    Illinois
    Tractor
    New Holland TC45D

    Default Re: What size rotary cutter?

    Richard,

    Could you lease the field to a local farmer? In my area there are always farmers looking for extra hay fields or if you are willing to let the acres be tilled corn or beans.

    Otherwise my suggestion would be a drawbar mounted cutter. You could probably handle a 7 foot cutter that way with 38 hp if you do not let the grass get too long.

    If you decide to get a larger tractor I would suggest something with at least 50-60 hp and as large a cutter as you can get. You can probably get a used tractor pretty reasonably.

    JT

  9. #9
    Elite Member Gary_in_Indiana's Avatar
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    Fort Wayne, IN
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    John Deere 4200 MFWD HST w/ JD 420 FEL w/ 61" loader bucket & toothbar & JD 37 BH w/ 12" bucket

    Default Re: What size rotary cutter?

    Also, if you decide to go larger, you'll be amazed at how cheap they are per HP relative to the compacts. I know there's more than just $ per HP involved, but I'm amazed at how cheaply a used 150 HP can be had relative to a used 30 HP.

    I see the same thing on used trucks once they hit a certain age. I'll pay the same for a 96 Chevy as I will for a 96 Freightliner. Park them side by side and just shake your head. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    31
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    Washinton, Spokane
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45

    Default Re: What size rotary cutter?

    Given the size of your field have you considered using a pto swather? A good used one can be had for about $1500 in my area and you should be able to handle one in the 8-9ft range. The only problem may be access to remote hydraulics to control level of the cut, or if your field is very rough.

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