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  1. #21
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    874
    Location
    Southern Tier NY
    Tractor
    Jinma 284

    Default Re: sicklebar mower

    RichZ,

    My dad has used the type of equipment that cowboydoc describes, for over 20 years. (sickle bar mower, pull behind crimper, very old rake, baler that originally had its own engine, and wagon) He has a gentlemen farm that required haying about 12 to 25 acres, two cuttings per year. As one that helped with much of the labor to get this hay in, I agree with others here, that it will be challenge with double the amount of acres. If memory serves me, we would do about 12 acres at a shot. This would take approx three days to cut, crimp, - day1, rake, rake, - day2, rake, bale, and store - day3. This is all dependant on getting three good drying days. Not always possible in Central NY. Baling would usually start about noon on the 3rd day, and would be still storing it in the mow, well past dark. We would start picking-up the bales as soon as the baler had made two passes around the field, i.e. seperate tractor/wagon. A crew of three, worked the pick-up and storage, while dad continued to bale. Not sure, but think this was around 300-400 bales.

    I don't remember having much problems with the mower or rake. The crimper tended to jam with hay, at least once or twice during the 12 acres. Required cutting pulling the hay out of the rollers. The baler held up well, except for the knot tyer. This would fail at least once an outing, depositing a few broken bales, which had to be re spread and rebaled.

    All in all, this equipment is still around and functioning today. Only does a total of 12 acres, 6 at a shot. Only has 1 horse now. My cousin will gladly take any access.

    In short, it will be possible to do 50 acres, but don't under estimate just how much work it will be.

    PS: I do still remember the smell of freshly stored hay. Also, remember fending off the wasps that always inhabited our mow!



    JohnS


  2. #22
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    424
    Location
    Akaroa South Island ,New Zealand (about 1/2 way down south island)
    Tractor
    8350 valmet with 980SL FEL duels had a 150 Hp deutz just sold it 10 NOV 01

    Default Re: sicklebar mower

    Hi ya's
    .02 cents here moco's are good but over rated in my mind if doing more grass based /thin stemed alfalfa hay a flat bar mower will do the job there is a mower in nz that spreds as it mows and time after time wilt/dring time is faster also keep in mind a moco will let water out but will let water back in faster .some of the old alfalfa's where like pea vines(wl320 comes to mind) and the leaf would dry out in 2 days but the stem took a week (nz times)new types have better /finer stems .disc mowers are faster but take a bit more Hp to drive ,sicklebar mowers look for the pitman less type ie gearbox on cutter bar also serated knifes or twin knife most of all keep sharp with the way ya talking bout doing 50 acres i'd be doing it in stages 10-15 acres at a time if something goes wrong it's less to lose,, nothing can match ya baler braking down ,rain comeing and 45 acres left to bale.other prob with moco's is some make rows to big for smaller gear to handle no point makeing rows from a 10 foot mower if ya baler can't take it better haveing the whole field spred out and building rows to suit ya gear
    catch ya
    JD Kid


  3. #23
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    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: sicklebar mower

    Jd,
    A mower conditioner will dry hay, grass or alfalfa, faster than not conditioning it anyway for any hay I've ever done. With a conditioner you can mow one day and be raking the next. Without conditioning you are waiting a few days before you can rake. Even say it did let more moisture back in, not sure about that, but it would still dry out faster when the moisture was gone than not being crimped. Also you can vary your rows with the mower conditioner to fit whatever your baler is capable of doing. You can also only rake one row instead of two rows together to bale. Even that old baler that I had last year would bale two rows from the moco and it was a 1960's model. I don't know of anyone that does any serious haying that doesn't have one. Yes you can do it without but it's much faster and easier with a moco, in my humble opinion.

    Growing up all we ever had were swathers. It's like moco attached to a combine. That sure made haying easy and nice. Then we had hay stackers to pick them up. Still not sure why that kind of equipment isn't used in the midwest but you never see any of the hay stackers or swathers.

    You are certainly right about just doing one piece at a time though. Problem there though is that, as you know, when hay is ready it's ready. To get the full nutrient value if you cut too soon or too late you lose. Tough call in that area. That's my main concern for them baling with old equipment with that much ground.


  4. #24
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    424
    Location
    Akaroa South Island ,New Zealand (about 1/2 way down south island)
    Tractor
    8350 valmet with 980SL FEL duels had a 150 Hp deutz just sold it 10 NOV 01

    Default Re: sicklebar mower

    Hi ya Cowboydoc
    a few points i have had 3 diffrent moco's 2 rollers and 1 rub type each has there good and bad points rollers good for alfalfa and clovers but not worth it if just doing grass the other is to hard on leaf on alfalfa/clover.if the stem is cracked it will let in water a lot faster i know guys here in wetter areas who will not use a moco but will use a tedder to spred .yes it will dry faster and more even if set right amount of crimping and row size comes in to play too.i have gone to a flat bar mower in the past few years cost come in to it 12000 for a 10 foot mower Vs 45000 for 10 foot moco running costs were also lower ,baleing 8000-15000 bales a year (small bales)even with doing that amount the numbers did not stack up...ok other point cut early or late early cutting will shorten the life time of alfalfa but better feed value cutting latter the feed value drops so timeing like ya say is a big thing ,we used to find frist cut was hard to get as good hay so we made most of frist cut into balage and try and get main cuts of hay in better drying condishions(?)or even graze longer to get later flowering . good gear comes in to it brakedowns cost time and money ..ya baler has to be the strongest link ie if ya mower brakes ya field dose not get cut if ya baler brakes ya hay could get wet!!!! with out knowing how bigger a window ya have each day to bale it's a hard call ,for me a baler has to do around 600+small squares per hour (or =in round/big bales)on our new place that may mean this year i only bale for 2 hours but once i get more hay fields in (good markets around us as 99% buy in each year)that will get bigger
    catch ya
    JD Kid


  5. #25
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    1,791
    Location
    Cherry Valley, New York (near Cooperstown, NY)
    Tractor
    Kubota L4630, with cab and loader, 1951 Ferguson TO-20, 1986 Ford 5610 with loader

    Default Re: sicklebar mower

    Boy, I'm offline for a couple of days, and I started quite a thread!!

    Richard, I know everything you say is 100% correct, but I just don't have the funds to do it the right way...Yet!!! John Miller knows my situation well, and what he describes is accurate. I will attempt to get hay growing well on 50 acres. If my equipment can't handle the job, I'll do what I can, and get as much baled as I can. I realize there's no way I'm going to be able to get all 50 acres harvested several times, next year. I'll be lucky to get a few dozen at each time, and then I'll brush hog the rest just to keep it in good shape. As John said, in time I'll have the proper equipment, but I'll have to start with junk equipment, and work my way up. John know that I am very tenacious. I'm new to all this, and feel I've accomplished alot in my first year, due to the invaluable advice of all my friends on TBN. And with the great fortune I've had to live near John, and go to auctions together, I've learned even more. He's taught me what to look for, and when to buy new, and when to "make do".

    Richard teaches me what to strive for, and points me in the right direction. It may take a few years, but with friends like John and Richard, and the rest of you guys,I'll have a nice hay crop eventually. For the time being, I'm hoping to be able to harvest enough for our animals next year. Eventually my friend and I hope to even be selling some hay, but we know that's way down the road!!!

    If I manage to sell alot of antiques this winter, I'll be buying alot of equipment this spring, and John and I will have a blast at the auctions!!! (we have fun at them even when we don't buy anything!!!)

    Thanks, guys!!!

    It's great to be a part of TBN!!![img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Rich


  6. #26
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    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: sicklebar mower

    Rich,
    I know how you feel and good luck with it. Are you going to be doing grass or alfalfa hay? If you're doing alfalfa and you don't cut it it will go to seed and die out really fast. I would stick with grass hay if you're not going to be able to cut it all. Also alfalfa does not do very well if it gets covered for any amount of time as well. So if it gets tall and you mow it down and don't bale it it will probably kill the alfalfa where you mow the other on top of it. What is the ground right now?


  7. #27
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    1,791
    Location
    Cherry Valley, New York (near Cooperstown, NY)
    Tractor
    Kubota L4630, with cab and loader, 1951 Ferguson TO-20, 1986 Ford 5610 with loader

    Default Re: sicklebar mower

    Thanks, Richard! We'll be doing grass. All the land is either former pasture or hayfields, so the basis is there. I just finished brush hogging all of it, to cut the weeds and brush. Some of it is in real nice shape, because my friend has had someone round bale it. The thing is, here in NY everything is more expensive. My friend was charged $20 per bale just to bale it!!![img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img] I told him that I could buy round bales for less than that. Then I found out he used to square bale it, and still had some equipment, though most of it is in need of repair. He stopped because he couldn't handle it alone, his wife and kids weren't helping, and my wife and I are eager to get started!. That's when I suggested we go into a partnership. So, I'm trying to aquire equipment and have what of his is salvagable, repaired.

    Sometimes I luck out! Last week, I got an old pto driven, John Deere manure spreader, from our county fairgrounds. It was only used one week per year, and was kept in a barn. Before the county sold it to me, they replaced the chains, greased the bearings, painted it, and generally tuned it up. It's in the best shape of any used manure spreader I've ever seen, and I only paid $600 for it. I've seen total wrecks go for more than that at the auctions John and I go to!

    So with a little more luck, and a lot more guidance from you guys, I'll get there!! There are bargins out there if you look hard enough! At the last auction John and I went to a nice massey Ferguson 175 went for only $2400.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img] It might have been a million dollars, because at the time I couldn't afford it.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/mad.gif[/img] But if all goes well with the antique sales, I won't let a deal like that get away this spring If I do, John will kill me!!).[img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    Rich


  8. #28
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    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: sicklebar mower

    That makes things a whole lot easier then Rich. With grass it's not that big of a deal like it is with alfalfa. If the grass turns you will lose some of the nutrient value but nothing like alfalfa. I was thinking you were going to replant all these fields and such. Yea grass isn't near the big deal that alfalfa is. You can even get grass wet and it can dry and you can bale it without near the loss you get with alfalfa. It will do you good to start on grass it's alot more forgiving than alfalfa. Doing grass and doing it in sections you should be able to get by with older equipment.


  9. #29
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    1,791
    Location
    Cherry Valley, New York (near Cooperstown, NY)
    Tractor
    Kubota L4630, with cab and loader, 1951 Ferguson TO-20, 1986 Ford 5610 with loader

    Default Re: sicklebar mower

    Thanks, Richard, that makes me feel alot better. I'll keep you posted of my progress, and I'm sure I'll have alot of questions!

    I finished brush hoging last weekend. This weekend, I'll be spreading manure!!! I never thought I'd be this excited by spreading horsesh**!! Maybe I should've been a politician!![img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    Rich


  10. #30
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    11,999
    Location
    PA
    Tractor
    NH TC25D

    Default Re: sicklebar mower

    The place I bought my tractor has a large selection of used equipment. Perhaps this will give you an idea of prices for used equipment.

    Case IH 8312 Disc MoCo, Cutterbar & Rolls - $4,900
    NH 315 Baler w/70 Thrower - $3,700

    They have a web site that has all their used equipment listed with pictures of most of it. They may not be close to where you live, but it might be good for developing a wish list, Messicks


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