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Let me see if I can get something started...

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Animal
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:23 pm    Post subject: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

This forum has been quiet, too quiet for a bunch of farmers feeding cows and watching the weather out the window...So here is my question, Do you think disc cutting compared to sickle cutting is harder on the plants? I have both and I am kind of leaning towards the sickle cut especially when it comes to legumes.
 
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rrlund
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Don't know. I just know there used to be the same arguement about sickle vs flail. The claim was that flail was harder on the plant.
 
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Animal
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I was just watching the local weather guesser and they are predicting almost zero moisture through Feb. With maybe another year of draught, will this influence the way you cut hay this spring?
 
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hayray
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Ok, just got in from spreading manure on one of my alfalfa fields and am fixing supper. I now exclusivley use a disc mower and I think it is easier to cut too close with a disc mower and that is where the damage comes in. Cutting height is the important issue regardless of mower type I believe. I mow at the highest setting and get better regeneration then I used to get when I mower lower. I like to mow at 4-6 inches.
 
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hayray
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

With dry forecast I will follow the strategy that worked good for me last season. I cut earlier then I ever have in order to take advantage of what little soil moisture may be present before evaporation losses in the heat of late spring reduce legume growth and basically make the grasses go into early dormancy. Second cut on high legume stands was not done until there was a predicted chance to get rain within a couple to 3 days after cutting as studies show that alfalfa needs a good rain within a week after cutting or forget it. I was able to get better second cuttings then most of my neighbors. Also I waited to do third on the grass and mixed hays until I got growth no matter how late it was, again, I got much better yields by passing August and waiting until September when things started growing.
 
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IaGary



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Location: North Liberty Iowa

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I never owned a disc mower. I always wondered what the life of the gears were on one of them.

My New Holland haybine needed 5 sickels and one set of guards in 17 years at about 200 acres a year.

Cows are gone now so I guess I'll never own a disc mower.

Gary
 
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MF Poor
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I cut hay for years with a New Holland 451 I bought new in 1972. Still have it and have no complaints. I still use it to cut alfalfa with. Bought a mint NH489 moco a couple years ago and started mowing grass hay with it. No complaints. My son bought a NH disc mower. I've used it a couple times. It cuts clean, and doesn't hurt plants. I've mowed alfalfa with it too. Pleased with results. It'll cut at warp speed! When it comes to mowing hay, I'm a low tech man in a high tech world....Can't get in tune with mowing @ 10mph. I do less than 25 acres total these days, and I spread that out over 4 or 5 days, so being able to mow in road gear isn't high on the priority list.

But. If I was heavier into hayin', it'd be all about the disc mower. Just too late in life to teach an old dog new tricks.
 
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Formerly PaMike
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I can tell you that flail is WAY harder than disc mower. Mowed hay for years with a NI272 flail mower. After I mowed the stubble would burn brown, then back to green, then start growing again. With the discbine it stays green and starts growing right away.
 
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Sid
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I believe cutting height as well as sharp cutters are important. Those things being equal I don't notice a differnce between the two.
A good sickle will do much better than a disc with dull broken cutters.
 
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Animal
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You and I are on the same page, escpecially when it comes to cutting height. My neighbors are constantly ribbing me about leaving half the crop in the field, strange though, my fields are still green when theirs is brown as a paper bag..
 
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VicS
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I think it is a moot point. If my head is gone it is gone. Started out with a M JD and a 7 ft sicle mower, if I made one round without stoping and backing up I thought I was in heaven. Now I have a Reese drum mower. Two 4.5 ft drums top driven by one belt. It is a mowing sun of a gun. I just mow 10 to 12 acres a day, then rake the same. Son bales it after work. Try to do it every day, unless it is going to rain. Seems like I am busy all day. Smile Vic
 
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oj
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

imho, cutting hay isn't a whole pile different from grazing grass... except for the cattle poo... I know we've hard better grass since we started controling how much grass the cows had and how much they left before we moved them on to the next piece, it only took a coupleoof years to see that the more grass we left behind, the quicker and stronger the regrowth, so i don't see a reason that cutting should be much different.

As for disc vs sickle... not much different to the roller vs tine/flail conditioner argument... Both have there place for cutting... and somehow i doubt if the plant knows the difference between the two or a cow/sheep eating it (if done at the same hight)
 
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Larry NEIL
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Probably not for me. If it's as dry next summer..I onl reall got one cutting. Cut the second time just to get the weeds.

By the way animal, I posted to you on your question regarding a ledger adjusting too on implement alley. My e-mail should be open on this thread.
Larry NEIL
 
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Larry NEIL
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

E-mail is; cardinaldigsit@sbcglobal.net
Ph. (630) 774-2087
 
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Tx Jim
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:17 am    Post subject: Re: Let me see if I can get something started... Reply to specific post Reply with quote


I agree that cutting too close no matter which type cutter(sickle or disc) severely affects regrowth. I also agree that duller disc blades are worse on plant stalks than dull sickle sections. I have observed that in cutting a Sudan/hay grazer type crop with a disc cutter will cause crop plant population lose because of shattering of the stubble allowing some of it to dry out and not regrow. This was very evident in drier years.
 
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