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Using Your Tractor & Crop Talk

Discussion Board - Let me see if I can get something started...

Author  [Modern View]
Animal

01-17-2013 16:23:04
71.51.217.13



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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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Erik Ks farmer

01-19-2013 14:55:12
199.241.240.16



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:23:04  
There not outta the ball park on price for around here. I know that 4x5 br brome are going for $160 a ton here.



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GordoSD

01-19-2013 11:39:19
216.106.252.37



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:23:04  
I like to get that first cut early also. Before you see any blossoms, early buds. Even then that first cut is usually my highest tonnage. Quite a bit of stalk. I will try a higher moco setting (IH 990) on that cut this spring. First alflafa/OG is about 3 June. I saw ad yesterday for brome grass bales 4 sale at 7 dollars.



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Animal

01-19-2013 17:20:04
71.51.217.13



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to GordoSD, 01-19-2013 11:39:19  
Gordo, Around here a fifty pound bale of brome is ten dollars almost every where.



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GordoSD

01-20-2013 13:53:13
216.106.252.37



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-19-2013 17:20:04  
I sold 400 last summer for 3.50, but that was in the field. I need to get some storage and a couple of teenagers.



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donjr

01-19-2013 10:45:25
72.71.178.108



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:23:04  
I have been through a mower and conditioner setup, two sickle bar mower conditioners, and a disc-bine. IMHO, the discbine is the best setup yet.As for damage to the hay, we used to go through 3-4 knifebars per year, and now, 2 sets of discbine blades. Changing the blades is much easier, safer, and faster than a knife bar. My machine was set at the middle height setting from the factory, but is now set at the higher height setting, not for stone damage, but grass root clipping. Research has shown that leaving 3-4" of growth helps the crop recover faster for the next cutting. We were cutting close to the crowns on the orchard grass and alfalfa, and the stands and plants were mot recovering as fast. Since changing, recovery time has been shortened by at least a week. My cutting schedule is 4-5 times for alfalfa and 2-3 times for orchard grasseds and mixed hays. Currently I do about 150 acres fo hay.

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770guy

01-18-2013 21:59:03
98.132.204.55



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:23:04  
I don't see that it makes a difference. I think the bigger difference is in cutting height. I cut with a NH discbine. It has three settings for tilt on the head. When I switched from the second to the third (highest) I noticed a difference in regrowth.



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Dave Sherburne NY

01-18-2013 09:54:08
50.48.57.19



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:23:04  
My opinion, I think the sicklebar will make a much cleaner cut most of the time which doesn't harm the plant quite so much. You have to keep it sharp and in good condition. A disc mower will will cut more acres faster but it won't take the knives long to become dull and it kinda shreds the top of the plant which causes it to dry out faster. I think it will take the plant a little longer to recover and put out new growth. Conclusion: Do a good job of pickin' stone, keep your sickle bar sharp and take care to replace damaged guards. On the discbine, inspect your knives often and change damaged ones.

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oj

01-17-2013 19:01:51
199.195.160.196



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:23:04  
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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VicS

01-17-2013 18:26:15
70.195.5.7



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:23:04  
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. :-) Vic

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Sid

01-17-2013 18:15:02
67.210.55.133



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:23:04  
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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MF Poor

01-17-2013 18:05:45
75.88.172.82



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:23:04  
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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IaGary

01-17-2013 17:32:46
108.160.237.250



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:23:04  
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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KEH

01-18-2013 12:31:22
209.213.19.196



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to IaGary, 01-17-2013 17:32:46  

Gary,

You must not have many rocks for the guards to last that long. Good life on the sickles too. You probably found it cost effective to buy new bars complete with new knives and bushings.

Life of a disc mower depends on a few things, including dumb luck. If the cutter bar is a gear bed that run in oil, It will last a very long time if the oil is changed once a season and you are lucky and careful in finding leaks from bad seals. Cutterbar needs skid plates replaced when they get worn, or repaired by welding fresh steel on them. Gear box needs oil changed also.

Gearboxes fail when a seal fails and the oil leaks out. Some makes have some sealed bearings in them which may fail with obvious results.

The Vermeer-Lely and AFIK the New Idea-MF-Hesston mowers have individual cutterhead gearboxes in the cutterbar and are driven by a shaft. On the Vermeer-Lelys, these have sealed bearings and bevel gears that need to be repacked in grease seasonally. Someone on her suggested that the grease is similar to cornhead grease, don't know. I'm guessing that the NI-MF_Hesston have the same setup, but not sure. These types of cutterbars can be rebuilt more or less indefinately at less cost that rebuilding a gearbed cutterbar. Sometimes it's cheaper to buy a new cutterbar assembly than to rebuild, IF the rest of the machine is worth the effort.

I found it cheaper to buy a new gearbox than to rebuild for a Vicon once. For all the above reasons, used disc mowers aren't worth much unless their history is known and they are creampuffs.

New Hollands have individual cutterhead gearboxes which run in oil and are shaft driven with little short shafts which telescope into each other. The NH gearboxes are bolted together, using a great deal of torque, to make a cutterbar. The NH is heavier than most other makes.

KEH

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JMS/.MN

01-18-2013 09:14:30
209.237.125.241



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to IaGary, 01-17-2013 17:32:46  
I had a NI 5209 discbine for 11 years on 140 acres, 3x per year, son had it for at least 5 after that, mostly cutting ditches. Only gear replaced on was one head, due to a rock sharing off the turtleback.



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hayray

01-17-2013 17:30:27
107.47.184.158



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:23:04  
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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Animal

01-17-2013 18:26:00
71.51.217.13



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to hayray, 01-17-2013 17:30:27  
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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hayray

01-17-2013 17:22:33
107.47.184.158



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:23:04  
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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rrlund

01-17-2013 16:40:34
207.241.137.116



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:23:04  
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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Formerly PaMIke

01-17-2013 18:07:32
24.152.202.123



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to rrlund, 01-17-2013 16:40:34  
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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JMS/.MN

01-18-2013 09:10:27
209.237.125.241



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Formerly PaMIke, 01-17-2013 18:07:32  
If you were cutting alfalfa, that coloration cycle is due to the timing of the cutting. 2nd cutting crowns may have emerged by the time you made first cutting.



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Formerly PaMike

01-18-2013 17:49:54
24.152.202.123



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to JMS/.MN, 01-18-2013 09:10:27  
No, mostly grass, some clover mixed in.I think the flail just damages the grass that much...



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Animal

01-17-2013 16:57:47
71.51.217.13



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to rrlund, 01-17-2013 16:40:34  
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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Larry NEIL

01-17-2013 20:11:27
76.203.5.40



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Animal, 01-17-2013 16:57:47  
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

01-17-2013 20:12:54
76.203.5.40



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Larry NEIL, 01-17-2013 20:11:27  
E-mail is; cardinaldigsit@sbcglobal.net
Ph. (630) 774-2087



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Animal

01-18-2013 17:07:14
71.51.217.13



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Larry NEIL, 01-17-2013 20:12:54  
I sent you an email this morning, I hope you got it.



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Tx Jim

01-18-2013 04:17:45
67.142.163.24



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 Re: Let me see if I can get something started... in reply to Larry NEIL, 01-17-2013 20:12:54  
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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