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  1. #1
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    Default Hay conditioner for no till killing

    I'm pretty new to tractors. Will a hay conditioner like this one (cheap off craigslist) work to lay down and kill a cover crop like rye like they do in this type of no till?

  2. #2
    Gold Member Kioti Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hay conditioner for no till killing

    That looks to be either a model 401 or 402 hay crusher. it will not cut anything. it is designed to be behind a mower or
    used after mowing. I have the 402 model. you will have to cut the rye first then you can crush or condition the rye
    This is New Holland unit. You will need a mower/conditioner or haybine to do what you want. what it is called depends
    on the manufacturer.

    Tom
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hay conditioner for no till killing

    Rye will die off in the summer if it is hot and dry enough. That second picture it looks like they are just knock all the grass over. You could bush hog also. Bush hog defined as big 4-16' wide rotary mower that cuts 3-10" off the ground.

    What are you wanting to plant after you knock down what is growing or dead now? What tool are you going to use to plant the next crop?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hay conditioner for no till killing

    Quote Originally Posted by JimRB View Post
    Rye will die off in the summer if it is hot and dry enough. That second picture it looks like they are just knock all the grass over. You could bush hog also. Bush hog defined as big 4-16' wide rotary mower that cuts 3-10" off the ground.

    What are you wanting to plant after you knock down what is growing or dead now? What tool are you going to use to plant the next crop?
    I have about an acre of buckthorn/garlic mustard in its first year. Next year the garlic mustard will bolt and go to seed early spring. I'm pulling out all the buckthorn and will be lightly disking it, then planting some winter rye this fall. My hope is that combination will prevent the garlic mustard from going to seed. In the spring I'd like to knock down the rye and plant pasture plants/grass for goats. I'm thinking kentucky blue grass with some legumes (clovers, hairy vetch, birdsfoot, etc) whatever I can frost seed, or just throw into the rye mulch.

    I suppose I could just cut it down with a bush hog too. I've seen some beatup 6 foot ones for around $150-200. Just as long as the rye doesn't go to seed.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hay conditioner for no till killing

    Quote Originally Posted by merlg View Post
    I'm pretty new to tractors. Will a hay conditioner like this one (cheap off craigslist) work to lay down and kill a cover crop like rye like they do in this type of no till?
    Merlg,
    What is that roller device in the second picture. Someone was planning to make something like that to condition cut hay, on the ground. If memory serves, very few people thought it would work for his purpose.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hay conditioner for no till killing

    I think it's called a crimper. They use it in notill farming where they want to kill a crop without disking or plowing it up. So they run this crimper over it, then drill another crop into it like soybeans or corn. The dead/dying rye acts as a mulch to add fertilizer, retain water, and suppress weeds. There are a few universities that have tested it and list out what seeding rates actually suppress weeds, vs lower amounts which don't.

    http://www.soils.wisc.edu/extension/.../ppt/Silva.pdf

    I was wondering if a hay conditioner was basically the same thing and if you ran it over standing rye if it would kill it and still leave it on the ground.

  7. #7
    Silver Member Pa Pa Jack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hay conditioner for no till killing

    That unit should work. For no-till, you don't really want to shred the cover crop. You just want to basically crush it. The crimpers do a little better job of killing it. I have just used a heavy chain hooked to a 8 foot length of 2" heavy wall stell pipe. I use "U" bolts to anchor it to the tractor and go. Then I go back and use a glyphosate spray to finalize the killing. I do not have a no till planter so I broadcast the seed and drag one more time. It sounds like a lot, but it isn't. My food plots have never looked better and i have very few weeds. I am also not using any fertilizer and my soil is far better than it used to be.

    If you want a little more info , here's a good thread on the subject.

    Mowing vs. Gly?? - QDMA Forums
    Jack Terpack

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Hay conditioner for no till killing

    Merlg,
    The conditioners that I know about crush the hay after it's been cut so, I don't think one would do you any good.
    Thank you for putting up the link to the no till crimper. I know very little about no till and found it interesting.
    Stuck

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hay conditioner for no till killing

    As others have stated, I'm pretty sure that won't work. I've got a New Holland 404 Crimper similar to your first picture. It actually turns "backwards" like a reverse tine tiller to suck up mowed hay and pull it through the rollers.

    I guess if it's cheap enough you could give it a shot though. Gut feel for me though would be lots of clogging and swearing.
    MBA = More Bad Advice

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