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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.”
 

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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.”
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)
Then everyone else followed, but with 2 blades. I'm surprised that they made it this long as the discbine is so much faster.
But there are situation where the haybine may be better, but probably that market is too small.
 

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And the changes in farming continue. We became a dealer when the transition to haybines from sickle bar mowers began in the early seventies. They were the greatest thing since sliced bread and we sold a bunch of them.

By the early eighties the tonnage coming off the hay fields began to overwhelm the abilities of the haybines and we started selling Vicon to meet the needs of the hay growers.

In 1986 NH introduced the 411 and sales for discbines and haybines were about equal for us. But as yields increased the writing was on the wall for the haybine.

By the time the introduction of the 1411 came in 1996 haybines sales were a thing of the past. I can think of only two being sold since that time.

Not all areas of the country are the same so haybines we’re still being sold in other places, but less and less each year.

I feel like I have seen the birth of a game changing machine and the death of an old friend.
 

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It didn't take NH long to get the design right, within the inherent limits of the technology. There were only 3 generations of the standard machine: the 460-461, the 469, and the 489. I mention only the 9 foot machines because 7 foot machines weren't sold in Australia. So in 3 design generations over about 15 years they got the mechanical systems,the header flotation and the material flow right. Then for 40 years the basic design didn't change. Yes, there was centre pull, hydraulic drive and the rolareel, but the basics were sorted out quite early. Rolabar rakes are the same: not much has changed in the basic design of the standard rake since the Super 56 more than 50 years ago.

My 461 has not done a lot of work, and I don't use it often, but I think I will keep it in the shed just in case.

NH engineers are probably proud they invented the Haybine instead of buying the original design and developing it, as they did with the automatic pickup baler and the bale wagon.

Roger
 

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When you look at the price of a new Haybine it’s a no brainer to just get a discbine instead.

As for myself, I’m probably a lifer with my 488. I can justify the cost of a discbine for all the more I do and I love watching the reel and everything about the machine work.
 

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I was 9 when dad transitioned from NH Haybine to a JD1360. I remember he also tried a NH discbine but it would not cut as clean as the JD. My uncle bought a new NH Haybine about 10 years ago and yet I have not ran one. I really should just because.
 

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Yes, haybines are quite mesmerising to run. The push bar gently laying the crop down, the reel chasing you down the field, the chatter of the knife, the rumble of the rollers, the swoosh of the crop hitting the deflectors and dropping gently to the ground. It's almost poetic, the closest most hay producers come these days to the experience of working a reaper and binder. You can hear and feel all this because unlike when straining to drive a discbine the tractor is not working hard. I run my 461 haybine on my 100 hp NH TS100 tractor in economy PTO mode, at only 1100 engine rpm. The haybine is way more relaxing to operate than my Taarup disc mower-conditioner, which needs all the tractor's power.

Roger
 

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I remember being 14 in the late seventies and running if I can remember right a Hesston center pull 12 footer. We had some boney land and never got all the rocks pick. We ran the larger thicker rock guards and at least once a day you would look around and see that dreadful stripe of uncut hay. Down you go with your hammer/chisel and wrenches and the neat little tool that would push out the rivets and squeeze the new rivets !
I don’t miss those days for sure.
I was working in England in the summer of ‘86
for my buddy who had a dairy farm. They were using a Vicon drum mower. I had never seen anything like it.
I went to work for a custom operator for a few months. One day he said this dairy guy was short of help and was putting me out on his farm to run his mower. It was the first proper discbine I had ever seen or run. It was unbelievable. Fast , no broken knives . Cut down hay. I called my dad and told him about this new mower and to see if he could find one from a local dealer. By chance he found one at our Gehl dealer. The dealer brought it over to demo and he tried it on a downed piece of hay. It never left the farm!
Best investment ever!!
Europe always seemed to be a head of the curve when it comes to certain hay making equipment.
 

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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.


 

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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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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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.



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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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Came across these this weekend. Here is the beginning of this farms relationship with the haybine. For reference the tractor is a 666. I thought I had one of the haybine in the field when trying out the discbine but I guess not. 1989 was the switch I believe. Dad even had an action shot.
 

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