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With a disc mower you only get the speed if your tractor has a good field gear for that speed, and if your field is smooth enough to go that speed. The disadvantage of a disc mower is you don’t get conditioning which adds to your dry time.

Haybones are obsolete but for small acreage they’re still just fine. I mow 5 mph with my 488 and that amounts to about 3 acre/hr. The fastest field gear my tractor has is 6 mph so I wouldn’t be gaining a lot plus I’d have no conditioning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I like the idea of conditioning as well. I feel I’d there’s one rookie mistake I’ll make with hay is not letting it dry enough. I’ll take all the help I can get. I don’t plan on going anywhere fast
 

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However, conditioning definitely helps in this area
 
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What’s the benefit of disc mowers vs haybines?
SPEED about 5 + times the speed.
Disc mower just cuts the hay and lays it down. Haybine uses a sickle type mower to cut and then conditions the hay. Conditioning the hay entails either crushing the stems by running it through two rotating rollers or breaking the stems by flails. Since you indicated you would be baling grass hay, conditioning is not as critical as, say, if you were baling alfalfa.
 

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Everyone has given good advice, if you still want to do this you can start out like I did. The MF 135 would be a good tractor, I recommend a drum mower, two basket tedder, a roll a bar rake, and a new Holland 273 square baler. I started with the above equipment and used a 40hp Allis Chalmers 5040 tractor which is comparable to the MF135. I bought the baler for $1500, tedder for $200, John Deere rake for $700 and the drum mower I purchased new for $3400. This was in 2016. I have since been bitten by the hay bug and have progressed to larger equipment. But I still have the above equipment and use it on one small farm I lease. The baler was in working condition, I had to cut a tree down to get the tedder and the rake needed tires and tines. If you are mechanically inclined you can pull it off if you can find the deals. I would start hitting the auctions in the spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Everyone has given good advice, if you still want to do this you can start out like I did. The MF 135 would be a good tractor, I recommend a drum mower, two basket tedder, a roll a bar rake, and a new Holland 273 square baler. I started with the above equipment and used a 40hp Allis Chalmers 5040 tractor which is comparable to the MF135. I bought the baler for $1500, tedder for $200, John Deere rake for $700 and the drum mower I purchased new for $3400. This was in 2016. I have since been bitten by the hay bug and have progressed to larger equipment. But I still have the above equipment and use it on one small farm I lease. The baler was in working condition, I had to cut a tree down to get the tedder and the rake needed tires and tines. If you are mechanically inclined you can pull it off if you can find the deals. I would start hitting the auctions in the spring.
I appreciate you sharing your experiences! I recently found the auction zip website so I’ve been monitoring that and I definitely will come spring. I still need to find land close to home. That will be the more difficult part since it’s all being sold off for development.
 
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