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Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher


 
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orangepower
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:03 pm    Post subject: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We have a good NH 451 sickle mower. Have been kinda looking at some of the older conditioners to do some alfalfa and heavy clover stands. Does the crop have to be conditioned immediately after cutting or could it lay there an hour or two until I go back over it with the conditioner? Have found some NH and a New Idea for sale locally. Which is better? Would I be better off biting the bullet and invest in a mower conditioner now? We primarily have grass/clover right now, but looking to hopefully expand into more alfalfa. Thanks for any opinions. And no, I don't have the acres or cash to justify a discbine even though they are a superior machine.
 
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donjr
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Having come up much the same way, let me give you some advice. Don't go after a crimper or crusher. Go to a few sales or look on craigslist and find an older haybine that is still usable. Or go in a bit bigger and get a newer one, like a 1219 Deere or a decent 270 NH. After just a few rounds, and a few cuttings, they will pretty much pay you back quickly. Hay should be crimped as soon as you can for the process to work properly and literally cut a day off your drying time. Another great tool is a tedder- even a two basket to start. A lot of times, you can find these items at a farm or consignment auction and not pay too dearly for them. But having a crimper is really not a step forward, and may cause you to sleep outside for a night or two if your wife happens to be in hearing range.
 
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Dalet
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If I was going NH, the 499's are a good unit with the swing tongue. They are cheap now too, its a good unit. If you want just a crimper, you need to hit the hay right away, I would have another tractor following the mower.

I have an old gehl in the trees for cheap. In MN. Hasn't been used in 30 years though probably. Worked when we parked it though. Wink
 
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JD Seller
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:09 am    Post subject: Re: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I would skip the crimper. They are a pain to use and you will find your sickle bar mower will not work well in good alfalfa or even heavy clover. Also you want to crimp the hay as quick as you can. This is to avoid leaf loss and speed drying.

Your NH 451 maybe setup to pull a crimper. Some of them had the 540 shaft already on the back and you just bought the hitch. (See picture)

A good model to look for is a NH 488(9 ft) or if you need a smaller machine go with a NH 478(7 ft).

I am a JD person but in a used a mower conditioner I would go with a NH over a JD. The 1209 and 1219 can be a expensive piece of equipment to repair if they have been abused too much in the past. They also are heavier and pull harder.

Also the NH 488 has been in production for almost thirty years. So they must be a good machine to keep selling like they do.

 
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DiyDave
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:03 am    Post subject: Re: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Get a drum mower, the only thing I have ever needed to condition after cutting with it, was sorghum/sudan grass. That stuff still takes a week to dry even after conditioning!
 
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Dick L
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:11 am    Post subject: Re: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have been using a Cunningham crimper for the last eight years. Might be correct to crimp right away but but if the hay is heavy you get to spend a lot of time laying under it with a box knife cutting the crimpers free with crimping on the same day.
I mow one day and the next morning as soon as the sun starts to shine I crimp. The next morning as soon as the sun is shinning and the dew is still on the hay I crimp again. It fluffs it back up so the air can get under it.
About 18 or so years back I was using a haybine and the next morning I would run the hay thru a NH crusher/roller type conditioner to speed up the drying. Knocks the dew off and lifts the matted down hay from the weight of the dew back off the ground to let air thru better.
 
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sideconsole4020guy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I use a NH 404 hay crusher after my JD 50 side mount sickle mower, And contrary to what every body else says you can run the crusher right after the mower. Here are the pictures of my set up. The mower gets new sickle sections every year and has the new style double gards. And yes I know a disc mower is better but I do not have the acres to justify one either. I bought my crusher for $100 dollars and it works slick, never once plugged it up
 
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Animal
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Is their one of these to be had here in Missouri?
 
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sideconsole4020guy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What do you need in Missouri? I see those 404 Crushers around here in SW Mn and NW Ia from time to time on sales.
 
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Texasmark1
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:11 am    Post subject: Re: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I bought a 404 recently and an operator's manual. The manual says that you need to get back on the cuttings within about 10 minutes to get it crushed before it wilts. Assume they were referring to Alfalfa. The stuff we grow down here for cow hay wouldn't care if you waited till the next day.

Apparently the wilting causes the crop to be too supple and not stick to, but follow the rollers around and eventually clog up.

On what to use, I have used straight sickle bars where crimping wasn't required and MOCO's of the green and red (NH) colors. The MOCO is an excellent choice if you have a larger operation with rectangular dimensions preferred. If you get the JD, ensure that you get the tongue extension (same one used with the round balers works) also so that you can make 90 degree turns at the end of the row with minimum missed crop. The JD 1209's were my favorite; had 2. Wobble box condition important and the bolt that holds the sickle has to be torqued as stated: 150 FT-LBS.

Currently I am running a much smaller hay patch and am tired of sickle bars. Reasons are crawdad mounds and aunt hills clogging them and repairs, especially if you need to pull the sickle bar are a real pain for me. The MOCO is more than I need or want at 9'.

I bought a 6' drum mower last spring and really like it for my little place but want to plant crops that are stemmy. I found a 404 (which crimps a 6' row also) and later a locally made similar unit and will use one of them this year on my hay patch.

Yes I will need to make an additional pass that wouldn't be required with a MOCO but for me, in my present operation, that's ok fine.

HTH,
Mark
 
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Animal
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:11 am    Post subject: Re: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have a friend that is looking for a pull behind hay conditioner.
 
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MLD
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I let it lay a couple hours til I'm done cutting, I have a JD 32 crusher I picked up for I think around $150 bucks if I remember right.
 
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MSS3020
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Mark, Yep I have and have ran now for 12 years or so a 1209. Like the machine alot and does a great job.
 
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Dick W.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Hay conditioner / crimper / crusher Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I read the replies below and am suprised that the cunningham plugged up with fresh hay. In a few weeks it will be 50 years since my Dad sold out of farming. We had a cunningham crimper and it almost never plugged in alfalfa. Dad ran the super 55 diesel with a 7ft international sickle bar and I followed with the row crop 70 with the crimper, worked great back then. Dad had an International crusher as a demonstrator and it plugged at the corners of the field if I didn't follow the mower exactly and it needed a lot more power to run than the crimper. The 70 really worked hard in the crusher in heavy first cutting alfalfa, we liked the crimper much better. I would love to use a NH sickle mower with the crimper on the back all pulled with my super 55 diesel.
 
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