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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone I work at State park that has roughly 500 acres of hay fields. Things are changing and the cutting is now falling on me to do. I am trying to figure out a few things:

If I cut tall grass with a sickle bar or a disc mower but do not go back to rake or bale will the grass underneath die off? Is there a disc mower or sickle bar that can move like a ditch bank mower? I'm trying to figure out if I can more ditches and steep banks, leave the long non-shredded grass and not kill the grass below it? Is this why I would be better off with a Flail or rotary mower, it cuts the grass smaller so it doesn't mold and kill the next grow? Can anyone recommend a good cutting attachment and mower?

Thank you!
 

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Probably a flail mower is best option. Alamo and shulte are pretty much the options. What have they been using? Seems you'd just run the equipment the state already owns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply, The park does not have any equipment as of now. The farm that maintained the land was using a disc mower but that lays it down flat ready for baling, since we wont be haying I was wondering if that kind of mower would cover the grass too much and kill it or mold it. I'm going with a flail and then a ditch bank rotary mower for the certain areas. Thanks again for the reply's I do appreciate it.
 

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Use a shredder--beg, borrow or buy one. A shredder will chop it up small enough that it will not kill the grass underneath (assuming you shred it when it is dry--no dew or rain).

Mowing with sickle or flail mower can cause the grass to be smothered out.

Ralph
 

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We've bush hogged ground under the power line for years now, usually wait till mid July or later, haven't ever smothered the grass out yet.
 

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Hello,

I feel there are a number of variables to consider. You said the land was previously mowed for hay yet you mention steep banks and ditches (the two do not go together very well), also you say 500 acres so not a small cutting.

Was it ALL cut for hay or did the producer bale some/most and then come back and clean up with a rotary cutter or flail?

If it was all cut for hay then is it safe to assume the land is mostly clear of rocks, stumps, debris, etc...?

How big is time a factor?

You mention a ditch bank, can you expand on the concept to help understand your needs?

On reasonably clean, reasonably flat to rolling ground, a rotary cutter is much more efficient and greatly less maintenance than a flail. Flails have many more moving parts causing greater maintenance/downtime however, if the ground is rough flails can "handle" it better than a rotary. Flails can be much rougher on the forage if not understood and properly adjusted.

Will you need to transport the equipment? Laminate tires are great as long as they never leave the field. Aircraft tires are preferred if transport is involved.

When you say 500 acres, will it all be cut at one time? I picture a 15-20 foot wide batwing rotary cutter which, even on flat ground would take days. Not certain but I do not think a flail is as fast as a rotary. Either way you will need 60-80 pto horsepower to make any kind of speed.

Is this a temporary situation?

How important is asset value? If this is long term do not let price drive the decision on a "rough cut" mower of any kind. I would consider no less than a heavy duty but would insist on a very heavy duty machine like a Shulte (spelling?).

Most of this assumes you have the proper tractor to pull a large mower so make sure you size the tractor at least 25% over minimum required horsepower. Your will need it and will quickly return this very small part of the investment.

In regards to comparing a disc mower: Yes if the grass is thick and cut tall and then cut with a disc mower killing the grass is a real possibility, especially when done repeatedly. If, however, you cut it with the grass short it may not be a problem ( picture a lawn mower scenario). That said, a disc mower will also be much more maintenance and not intended for pasture/land "cleanup.

If the park owned the equipment, had a budget column for the certain cost of operation, depreciation of asset and employee cost. determine what this number is and the scale of depreciation (if realistic). You may find it cheaper and much, much less of a headache to have this work contracted.
 
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