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  1. #11
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,556
    Location
    Central Lower Michigan
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE

    Default Re: best cutter for small scale hay production

    Very interesting technique. Won't argue with you, but I do hope you have no rocks or stray baseballs/golfballs in your hayfield! Otherwise, "Fore!"

  2. #12
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    8,416
    Location
    Silver Creek, NY
    Tractor
    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: best cutter for small scale hay production

    Quote Originally Posted by scott_vt
    Afternoon George,
    A mower/conditioner is nothing more than a sicklemower that feeds the cut grass into two rotating drums, one being steel with with grooves pronunced on the outside diameter and another rubber coated drum that the steel drum rides on crimping the grass in the process allowing a much faster dry time that a conventional sicklemower. Hope thats clearer than mud ! ?

    http://www.tractorhouse.com/images/T...e/75048647.jpg

    sorry George this photo doesnt show how the thing works very well but its the best I can find right now!
    Scott, the rollers on discbines and moco/haybines can be steel on steel, steel on rubber or rubber on rubber. You can even find flails on some now. There is no standard as to what came on these machines as it is mostly a marketing strategy between brands. Case-IH always pushed their Hesston version as saying the steel on steel was better and it may be but I think the difference in drying time between all these styles is so small you would never notice it in the field.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  3. #13
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    62
    Location
    northwest florida
    Tractor
    2640 john deere,641 ford

    Default Re: best cutter for small scale hay production

    I would vote for the drum mower for a smaller operation. I started with A massy sicklebar and then got a Kuhn disc mower which I liked very well. THe drum mower is quite a bit cheaper than the disc mowers and is generally regarded as more durable than the disc. If I had to cut Coastal Bermuda with a sicklebar again I would retire from the hay business!

  4. #14
    Elite Member zzvyb6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,544
    Location
    michigan
    Tractor
    jd 1070

    Default Re: best cutter for small scale hay production

    I ran my 9' NH 479 with an 18hp Yanmar for a few years. Didn't even have live power. Was fun going down hill. Now have 38hp JD that runs it just fine. I added a tongue swing cylinder to get thru the gates and to help get close to the fences. This all works via the loader circuits. Its a mower conditioner, having crusher rolls to break the waxy coating on the grass and alfalfa. Switched to bolted on knife sections, which I change every few years. Its a nice kind of machine. Cycle-bar mowers don't crimp or swath into a windrow. I cut to a narrow windrow and roll it over after a day to place it in a dry path in the field. Rake or tedder with a Kuhn dual spindle or NH 5 bar rake. Then bale with a JD 14T almost as old as I am. Last is to pick up with a NH 1012 bale pickup wagon. Then deliver to the ladies down the street who help unload at their barn. It paid for all the equipment in 1 season at $2.00 a bale from the balewagon to your barn, $2.50 a bale at the barn and $3.50 a bale delivered within 25 miles or so. Ran out of hay in February. Its a lot of fun, justifies tools, welders, metalworking and property tax assesments as an agricultural endeavor. Yes, it can get hot and sweaty, but the girls provide the cold beer afterwards and sometimes a dip in the pool. You need to be your own weather forecaster because the TV News folks are almost always wrong for rain prediction. If you have teenagers, they will learn the value of sweat. If you have neighbors with horses, its a marriage made in heaven. They will appreciate your locally grown product that will always be safe for their animals. If there is a Tractor Supply nearby, your hay operation will benefit from twine, spare parts, and a bulletin board to get your first sale. Nothing like understanding how a Deering knotter works and can adjust, time, and repair one.
    There is no "I" in team, but there is a "Me" if you want to jumble it up a bit...

  5. #15
    Gold Member Cidertom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    471
    Location
    Benton Co Oregon
    Tractor
    JD 4520, 2305 Aktive snow-trac ST4

    Default Re: best cutter for small scale hay production

    An idea I've been thinking of. There has to be a signifcant problem with it or it would have been done already.

    I have a JD 4520 with a 400CX FEL that has shown it can pick 2700lbs. why couldn't I find an old mower/swather (hesston?) that has a blown engine and fab a mount for the FEL to hold the head and drive it with a hydro motor? I would make a seperate hydro pump drive with a PTO powered pump and a combination ballast box, hydro reservoir, radiator. Mount a set of floatation tires as castors and keep the FEL in float except to pick the head up.

    I realize the cost of the hydro drive package is about the cost of rebuilding an engine, but I want to limit the number of power units I have.

    TEW
    One of americas vanishing breed: Volunteer Firefighter

  6. #16
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    129
    Location
    middle TN, closest to Beechgrove, then Bell Buckle, then Wartrace
    Tractor
    A-C 5020-4, Mahindra 6500 4WD, Kubota L4740 HSTC 4WD

    Default Re: best cutter for small scale hay production

    My square bale operation on 26 mowable acres:
    Mahindra "6500" 4WD tractor (purchased new)
    Gribaldi & Salvia "Superior 394" belt drive, 7' sickle bar mower (purchased new)
    Walton "WT-9" 9' tedder (purchased used)
    Hay Maxx "WR-5" 11' 5-wheel rake (purchased new)
    IH McCormick "#46" baler (purchased very used with a second one for parts)

    Still learning all the ins and outs of timing the knotters, but baled only a small portion (about 100 bales) for our use last fall. Have enough horse friends to have a "haying party" on a share of the product basis. Only real hard labor is loading and hauling bales -- and with lots of help that is not a major problem. Based on spring hay production last year, We should get about 1,000 bales out of the back pasture this spring and about 500 out of the front in the fall. The horses graze the rest down ... but we only need about 250 bales for our use, so I pay the laborers in hay (which accounts for about 2/3's of the production) and sell the rest.

    The baler(s) is ancient (1957 model year) and requires a lot of TLC, but works like a champ most of the time.

    Hope this is helpful -- BTW, I agree that in old balers, JD and NH are generally better than IH -- I just grew up following a Model 45 around hay fields in Wisconsin, so ... it's a nostalgia thing. Plus the "Red Power" list has a couple of old IH mechanics who are VERY helpful.
    VistanTN
    Mahindra 6500 4WD w/QA FEL, Kubota L4740 HSTC w/QA FEL, A-C 5020, JD HPX Gator, CubCadet Z-Force 60, JD 145 Lawn Tractor, IH Model 46 Baler, etc, etc, ad nauseum. We love ALL colors.

  7. #17
    Super Member scott_vt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,049
    Location
    east wells,vt
    Tractor
    1986 MF 1040, 1942 Farmall A, 1949 Farmall Super A

    Default Re: best cutter for small scale hay production

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_in_NY
    Scott, the rollers on discbines and moco/haybines can be steel on steel, steel on rubber or rubber on rubber. You can even find flails on some now. There is no standard as to what came on these machines as it is mostly a marketing strategy between brands. Case-IH always pushed their Hesston version as saying the steel on steel was better and it may be but I think the difference in drying time between all these styles is so small you would never notice it in the field.
    Mornin Robert,
    Thanks for that clarification ! I kind of figured there was different configurations of that roller assembly. This was what I have seen my neighbors use, in my limited circle of farm equipment useage.
    scotty

    ,,,course,,it is gas,and gas is,,well,gas,,so,,but it kills the @#$$ oughta them yellow jackets,,,thingy

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/content/...onth-scott_vt/

  8. #18
    Veteran Member Slamfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    1,494
    Location
    Coker Creek, TN
    Tractor
    Mitsubishi D 1800

    Default Re: best cutter for small scale hay production

    Quote Originally Posted by diyDave
    I'm sure there are those who will argue the point with me, but when I'm cutting orchard grass for hay here in MD, I use a bush hog 205 rotary bush hog, with one side removed. The trick is not to go real fast, about 3-4 mph. The hay is ejected out the left side, and the rotary action of the blades bruises the hay just enough to make it cure faster than a sickle bar mower. I get better hay with it than with a hay conditioner, and faster drying.
    Thanks for the tip, now if I put some kind of deflector on the left, to direct the flying dog bones to the ground, I may not kill one of them.
    '76 Mitsu D1800. '77 Wheel Horse A-100.
    Bold talk from a one eyed fat man



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