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  1. #1
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    Default Flail for hay

    I have a 6ft caroni I would like to try and use for hay. Will smaller cuts work in a sq baler? Any recs? Would ground speed or removing the roller make a better cut?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Kubota L2500, Oliver Super55

    Default Re: Flail for hay

    If you were using it to make haylage and was then going to wrap the bales I think it would work quite well.

    On the flip side for hay. Will it work? Most likely yes. You can use a brush hog to cut hay. Will you like the result probably not likely.

    Drum, disc, and sickle mowers all try to cut as close to ground as possible trying to leave the healthy part of the plant (the leaves) as undisturbed as possible. I would think a flail would cause a lot of crop loss of the leaves but would dry incredibly fast since the plant would have been crimped multiple times from the flail. I would guess if it got rained on it would be impossible to dry out.

    If a flail was all I had and it was a crisis and I needed to get it cut I would experiment and go with it but if I intentionally went out there to go cut hay I would look at a double bladed sickle mower or a drum mower.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    JD LA115, WH 244, WH 525 hydro-pops,Original Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: Flail for hay

    Quote Originally Posted by PioneerMan View Post
    I have a 6ft caroni I would like to try and use for hay. Will smaller cuts work in a sq baler? Any recs? Would ground speed or removing the roller make a better cut?
    Thanks.
    Hello PioneerMan,


    The Caroni flail mower will not help you.
    The clippings will be too damaged and too
    short to bale.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Up State S.C.
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    AC WD 34 hp/3500 lbs MF 261 60 hp/5380 lbs

    Default Re: Flail for hay

    If you try it, let us know how it worked. I hope you get a plesant surprise.

  5. #5
    Elite Member JasG's Avatar
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    CNY
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    Kubota L3240

    Default Re: Flail for hay

    FWIW:

    Back in the late 1980's I worked for a farmer that had a New Idea flail mower conditioner that was for mowing hay. I do not know what the difference would be between that and yours, if the hay would get chopped up more or not. It's possible the flails are different between the 2 machines. I know the units they mow the road side with chop stuff up like grass clippings.

    He also used it a few times making a 2nd pass over the hay field he had mowed the day before. This would fluff the hay up and the flails would beat the hay again. I don't remember how well it worked. I only worked for the guy about 2 weeks. He shorted me on hours he said I worked vs what I actually worked.
    “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."


    Ronald Reagan

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Kubota L2500, Oliver Super55

    Default Re: Flail for hay

    I believe most flail type mower conditioners the disc/drum flail knives run parallel to the ground to cut the hay. It than has a rotary similar to a flail mower with V type knives that are more used to push the hay through the crimper/ conditioner than they are used for cutting.

    I could be wrong but I just see it being difficult to get the hay to bale. Everytime I have used my flail mower it has pulverized the clipping and that is with the fine cut knives not even the hammer knives. Everything gets so chopped up I think it would be a P.I.T.A to get it to windrow. If I didn't have a sickle, disc or drum mower to work with I think a bush hog would be the next item in order over a flail. At least that leaves the grass intact enough for a rake/tedder to still grab it.

  7. #7
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Sold the farm, sold the tractors, moved back to the city

    Default Re: Flail for hay

    Quote Originally Posted by PioneerMan View Post
    I have a 6ft caroni I would like to try and use for hay. Will smaller cuts work in a sq baler? Any recs? Would ground speed or removing the roller make a better cut?
    Thanks.
    Don't think that flail will work. Flails make mulch out of the cuttings--not what you want for baling hay. Get a sicklebar. Or better yet, get a drum mower.

  8. #8
    Member
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    Oct 2012
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    Fenton, Mi
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    Kubota L2550GST(4wd), Mitsubhish MT160D (4wd)

    Default Re: Flail for hay

    I know that you should try as inspiration is our best voice sometimes. If you are on a tight budget as we are, then a brush hog will work best when you do not have a haybine or drum mower. As we did bale just fine w a brush hog for two seasons we just bought a Galfre drum mower from a place called GoodwinConcepts.com. The guy there was awesome in helping us make the right choice. The drum mower cut thru level clean ground on speed 7 of 8 on a Kubota. At least 9-10mph. I was done in two hours and knew I had made the right choice.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    SW OH - near Dayton, OH
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    Kubota L285

    Default Re: Flail for hay

    I have zero experience using a flail mower as a hay cutter. The key will be can you adjust it or alter it somehow so that is discharges the hay in as big of pieces as possible without mincing it up. Flail likely not best choice for leafy types of hay.

    I do have experience using a bushog (rotary cutter) as an improvised hay cutter. It actually worked fine as far as the quality of the grassy type hay goes but you will suffer yield loss using even a rotary cutter for hay. I can only guess that my yield loss was somewhere in the 33% range with my bushog (an ole squareback) but some have experienced even higher loss rates. The key with a rotary cutter is to also discharge the clippings without mincing them up (tilt the back up or sometimes even remove one side of the bushog). Bushog likely not best choice for leafey types of hay either.

    Any improvised hay cutter will suffer yield loss in 2 ways. One, is you are running over the hay first with the tractor before you cut it so you will not cut it all since some gets mashed down (what does not get cut can cause issues when raking too). Second, is any improvised cutter will likely produce some smaller clippings that are too small for the rake and baler to pick up. Only you can determine how much yield loss is acceptable to you. On a hobby hay operation the yield loss is usually peanuts and will not justify buying a better tool on just a few acres, but as the acres goes up then you might want to rethink....

    If you need every morsel of hay or you are doing this for $ then there really is no substitute for a proper dedicated hay cutter. Lots of choices out there and each has strengths and weakness depending on type of hay producing and also dependendant upon tractor you will power it with.

  10. #10
    Gold Member BeeferMan's Avatar
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    Default

    The flails in a flail-type mower conditioner are not knives. They do not cut the hay, they are designed to strip some of the waxy coating of the hay to allow faster drying.

    You can certainly cut hay with a flail mower, but it will greatly reduce the quality of the hay over mowing with a machine designed for the job.
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Case 1194, NH TT75A, Ford 600, Bobcat A300, balers, rakes, mowers, tedders, spreaders and lots of other toys as well...

    - Jim

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