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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Pull Behind vs. Self Propelled Equipment

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SaTom

08-04-2010 17:25:04
76.23.205.193



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I"ve been thinking about this for a while and finally decided to post seeing it is more geared to modern equipment and not real antique tractors. When dealing with hay or corn that is to be harvested as silage, roughly at what acreage range do most farms change from pull behind mowers and choppers to larger self propelled machines? I know there may be variations here and obviously money is a factor, but based on your area and surrounding farms, what are you seeing for equipment being run? Are we talking 100-150 acres or more like 300+ acres? Thanks

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Leroy

08-05-2010 06:13:59
69.88.223.179



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 Re: Pull Behind vs. Self Propelled Equipment in reply to SaTom, 08-04-2010 17:25:04  
Not many dairys left but most use pull type equipment, One person that no longer has cows had a New Idea SP Chopper, at one time he had the combine for it as well. Now does mostly opening fields for the pull type choppers.



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Tom Schnitzler

08-05-2010 04:56:31
166.224.13.102



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 Re: Pull Behind vs. Self Propelled Equipment in reply to SaTom, 08-04-2010 17:25:04  
Around my area there is a lot of big guys, within 30 miles there is probaly 1 out of 4 farmers have sp choppers and 3 custom operators. They are pretty new machines too, nh 50's and jd, 7300, and some newer claas's



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dieseldoc

08-04-2010 22:02:27
67.55.218.110



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 Re: Pull Behind vs. Self Propelled Equipment in reply to SaTom, 08-04-2010 17:25:04  
I chop 4000 to 6000 tons of corn silage every year with a pull type chopper with a three row head and kernel processor.Would like a sp harvester but cant afford one.



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NY 986

08-04-2010 18:56:06
166.217.229.170



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 Re: Pull Behind vs. Self Propelled Equipment in reply to SaTom, 08-04-2010 17:25:04  
I would say as a rough rule of thumb once you get over 50 acres of corn silage you see guys own an older self-propelled and a lot of guys just hire it done. Most of the big dairies (several hundred animals and greater) are looking to help offset the cost of a new 6 row or bigger harvester that has a kernel processor by doing custom work. Rates run from 175 to 300 dollars per cutterhead hour and those machines can cover a lot of ground in an hour if they are not waiting for trucks. If they can get one, alot of guys figure they are ahead cost-wise if they can get the big harvester for custom. New small 2 row machines are over 30K such as NH 790 and JD 3955 w/o heads. Mower-conditioners are a little different proposition as nearly all farms seem to have one and anything smaller than the biggest seem to have a center-swing cutterbar or disc unit as opposed to a self-propelled. In New York dealers that kept several new units and a couple dozen used units for pull-type forage harvesters now maybe keep one new and a few used on the lot so that practice has lost a lot of favor in the last decade. One of my favorite things growing up was watching dad out with the 4010 diesel and 2 row out chopping corn followed by bringing it back and blowing it up a vertical stave silo. Not much of that done at least in these parts anymore. Somebody 100 miles away in any direction from me could paint a completely different picture than the one I did.

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paul

08-04-2010 20:53:17
66.44.132.49



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 Re: Pull Behind vs. Self Propelled Equipment in reply to NY 986, 08-04-2010 18:56:06  
Pretty close to southern MN as well, same story.

--->Paul



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kyhayman

08-04-2010 19:43:17
99.197.64.56



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 Re: Pull Behind vs. Self Propelled Equipment in reply to NY 986, 08-04-2010 18:56:06  
Except for pictures and the National Farm Machinery Show I've never seen a self propelled chopper in this area and seen exactly two self propelled mower conditioners. Just seems like a lot of money to tie up in a dedicated powerplant for limited use. Most of my neighbors chop in the range of 100-150 acres of corn silage and the same amount of wheat silage. A couple are up in the 300-400 acre range. Usually figure two months chopping corn at least.

With hay, even with guys around here that put up 5000-6000 rolls most of them are using 10.5 foot disc mower conditioners.

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Formerly Pamike

08-05-2010 02:29:44
24.152.202.123



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 Re: Pull Behind vs. Self Propelled Equipment in reply to kyhayman, 08-04-2010 19:43:17  
Wow, what a difference compared to this area. Around here tons of guys doing 50-150 acres of corn get local custom operators with self propelled choppers in to fill silo. Not too many people filling silo with pull type harvesters.



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JMS/.MN

08-04-2010 21:33:38
209.237.107.155



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 Re: Pull Behind vs. Self Propelled Equipment in reply to kyhayman, 08-04-2010 19:43:17  
Two months of chopping corn silage? Must be a wide window for quality. Here it is about 3 weeks, and with early frost, even less. Generally several weeks in Sept. Son is a diesel mechanic in the area, his boss sold a JD SP chopper to a customer in KY or Tenn a couple of years ago...wondered how many JD dealers he went by to buy one in central MN. SP moco"s? We"re still in a dairy area, but the industry is moving north. Lots of them around, now with GPS and disc heads- run 8+ mph, perfect cuts, no skips.

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Heat Houser

08-04-2010 18:55:22
69.66.35.73



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 Re: Pull Behind vs. Self Propelled Equipment in reply to SaTom, 08-04-2010 17:25:04  

The neighbor and I chop 45-55 ac of corn silage and he does another 30-35 ac of hay with a 3970 JD pull chopper. Guessing maybe 700-800 tons of corn silage. 65-70 loads at 10-12T each.



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Ken Macfarlane

08-05-2010 06:37:04
156.34.142.102



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 Re: Pull Behind vs. Self Propelled Equipment in reply to Heat Houser, 08-04-2010 18:55:22  
No self propelled here as there is no contract work. Used towed are cheap as almost all dairy has moved to round/square bale grass balage. Just a few people still doing bagged, and some pit silage.



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KEH

08-05-2010 14:52:12
67.231.172.93



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 Re: Pull Behind vs. Self Propelled Equipment in reply to Ken Macfarlane, 08-05-2010 06:37:04  

I'm in Western SC. There are few dairies here, the ones that remain are big and use self propelled silage choppers. They try to cut silage in a relatively short period, I guestimate 3 weeks.

The last self propelled hay cutters were the old Hesstons which weren't very big. Disc mower conditioners are too expensive to have self propelled ones. Fields are usually too small to justify a large self propelled, and roads are too narrow for easy transport.

Pull type disc mower conditioners with 10 foot cuts are fairly popular. New sickle bar mower conditioners are a dead issue, no one wants them once they use a disc mower. A lot of people like me use a 3ph disc mower. Alfalfa is seldom grown here because of climate and expense of growing and maintaining a stand.

KEH

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