I also heard in February that John deere is no longer going to be making plows
I remember when the switch from Haybine to Discbine occurred and the big push came from Vicon with its triangle turtle and 3 blades. (hope my memory is holding)Interesting article from a local farm paper:
New Holland will discontinue production this year of a machine that redefined the haymaking process decades ago.
According to Jordan Milewski, senior brand marketing manager for New Holland Agriculture North America, 2023 will mark the last production year for the Haybine. The shift to Discbines is the main reason, and the Haybine era will close with the model 488.
“It’s the last of a legacy. It’s bittersweet,” he said. “The transition from sickle to disc cutting has been happening for over 20 years. It’s been ongoing and we knew the day would come eventually.”
New Holland began producing Haybines in 1964 with the model 460, and the machines revolutionized the haymaking process by combining cutting and conditioning in one step.
Before the Haybine, sickle mowers were used to cut hay, and another pass through the fields was required with a conditioner or crimper.
Richard Jackson of Red Lion, Pennsylvania, remembers the evolution of haymaking on his family farm and the changes when the first New Holland Haybine arrived.
“It was a great innovation,” he said. “Years ago, dad mowed with a horse and then followed it up with a New Holland crimper. When the Haybine came, it cut down a day of drying and we could make hay much quicker.”
But decades later, a faster way to make hay appeared on the scene and Haybines began to fade.
Travis Petit, an online sales representative with Forrester Farm Equipment in Virginia, said New Holland launched its Discbine in the 1990s, and by 2000 the decline in Haybine use was noticeable. Once the speed of a Discbine became apparent, he said, there was no turning back.
Haybines are still in use, Petit said, mainly by older-generation farmers reluctant to make the switch.
“The Haybine was the way of farming years ago, but overall it’s a thing of the past,” he said.
While the speed of a Discbine can’t be matched, Milewski said the Haybine does have benefits. With a sickle mower, the movement of hay over the cutter bar can be controlled in a way not afforded by the early Discbines. And with crops such as alfalfa, a Haybine produces a flat, clean cut where disc machines used to struggle.
But advances in Discbines — such as longer knives and increased overlap that result in a cleaner cut — have addressed those areas, Milewski said. The cutter bar on new machines, such as the New Holland Discbine Plus Series, is thinner, creating a flatter profile than before. “The more you tip the cutter bar, that’s when you see the scalloping effect with Discbines,” Milewski said. “By flattening that out, it results in a more flatly mowed field.” New Holland Haybines have also evolved since they were introduced in 1964.
In 1966, the model 461 was the first to feature chevron-design rubber conditioning rolls. In 1975, the company introduced a 12-foot Haybine with 110-inch-wide conditioning rolls to speed drying time. A pivot tongue package was added in 1983 with the model 499.
But, as Jackson pointed out, changes in the industry eventually proved to be too much for the Haybine.
“New Holland has many great innovations with haymaking equipment, and we all get used to the changes,” he said. “The Discbine is more economical and much faster, so it doesn’t surprise me that the Haybine is being discontinued.”
Milewski doesn’t expect many other producers to be surprised, either.
“The transition from Haybines to Discbines has been such that I don’t think there will be many grumbles,” he said. “The discontinuation of the Haybine is a milestone, and it’s something that New Holland pioneered, but today’s Discbines can drop twice the acreage of hay in the same time.”
Good Question! Bet though that it too will be discontinued, maybe they'll offer an adapter.Wonder if that means the sickle Moco heads for sp mowers are being dropped too.
Unplugging mine got to be supremely frustrating until I changed to stub guards 3 or 4 years ago and have forgotten plugs were a thing.It was nice dragging the 489 around with 45 hp. With battery impacts now would be even easier. But then I remember sitting under it unplugging it, and plugging at every point row, and burning drive belts off, and trying to fit it down the road. I won’t be rushing to find one to stash away for the future.
I agree, it’s very mesmerizing to watch and listen to the Haybine go. Not as fast as a discbine but I still mow at 5 mph and if the field is smooth enough I could go 6 in second cut. Mowing for me is relaxing and maybe the funnest part of haying.
In memory of the 488 going into retirement I feel compelled to share some of the videos I’ve made with my 488. The first is with a new 16 yr old operator who’s mowing like a boss but has music overlay. The second video is view from the seat with the sound of the equipment. You can hear how smooth it runs even with that thick, tall first cut. RIP 488.
I've never used a disc mower. If you're doing grass, the conditioning from a haybine would be useful in first cut but not subsequent cuts. If you're doing alfalfa, a conditioning mower would be helpful in all cuts to help stem dry down. Older well-used haybines can have their own headaches, like bad rolls, bad wobble boxes, poorly adjusted guards which cut poorly and blow out wobble boxes.Great videos. Probably a dumb idea but I have thought about switching from the small disc mower to a haybine. I found a 488 but it isnt nearly as nice as yours.