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I am looking at a used Woods BBX84 rotary mower but want opinions for the best tool for my needs. My primary need is to cut 10-12 acres of foodplots each year. The grass is usually well above knee high and to the waist on wet years. Bahia, nut grass, blackberry, broomsedge and briars are the primary culprits Scattered amongst the dirt mounds from hogs rooting up the nut grass. I also cut trails between the planted pine rows where the previous harvest's stumps often lurk trying to break things. Due to distance and limited time we usually go one weekend and spray gly to burn the plots, mow 2 weeks later, then disc and plant the following weekends. This is all weather dependent and 300 miles each way, so time is limited. I hope to acquire a Woods PSS84 min-till drill to avoid the disc, but the grass residue is frequently thickly bunched from the mowing. Would a flail mower give a cleaner cut with less residue at comparable ground speed? I have never used a flail mower and remain ignorant of the pros and cons of a rotary mower. Any opinions based on your experience and reliable hear-say would be greatly appreciated. The new tractor is a JD 5055E, with power reverser, H240 FEL, loaded R-4s due to stumps. I am told the 45 HP PTO would handle the 7 ft woods mower. Would a Flail mower need more or less PTO HP than a rotary?
Thanks for the opinions
 

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OH MY GOODNESS!!!! ONE OF MY FAVORITE TOPICS!!!!

For your job, flail all the way. I'd say 6-8' width for your tractor size, with T style hammers.

I ran a 74" Caroni on my 4720 for a couple seasons and it handled it no problems at all - 4-5mph on 8-12" grass. 1-2mph on tall stuff. Then I got a 12' Rhino and that made my 4720 work!!! on 8"-12" grass I could do 3-4mph, but in 2-3' I was 0.5-1mph.

Now, you're gonna hear all kinds of opinions, but honestly what your describing for needs is basically a stalk chopper - which is a flail on steroids used for sugarcane/corn (I think).

I've had a flail for about 6 years now and use it for our pastures. I love it. It's safer (doesn't throw things), it's better with stumps and rocks (the hammers swing away when they hit something solid), and IMO it leaves finer clippings. It does a surprisingly nice job on lawn grass as well.

Now, the downside, they're more expensive. Search eBay, agri-supply, etc. You're looking at 5000$ for a used 8' on a good day.

Good luck!!

-J.
 
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We've got a hunting lease down near Milledgeville. The saplings grow like crazy, I'd say it depends on how much wood you have to chop. I cut this gas line once a year and this is how much it grows up


I'm on a lot smaller tractor than you, but you can hear how much it bogs down when hitting the thick stuff. I'm not sure I'd pull a flail through here, but then again, I don't have one, so I don't know. Your property may be different too.
 

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What I see there is ideal for a flail. They're part brush "mulcher" too.... saplings up to about 1" don't stand a chance.

-J.
 
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I think all have them with their hammers on D rings. Your choices are a "Y" type blade, or a "scoop/flatfaced" blade. You want the Y type - trust me, I've had both. They are interchangeable, but its a big job to change 80-100 of them. The Y's can be sharpened and reversed too, which is very nice.

When I mow I'm left with a carpet of fine, 1-2" pieces of grass. Rarely, if ever, is there a gob of anything.

Most (all?) flails have a rear roller too, so I nicely stripes your area too!!

-J.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the opinions and video. That grass is not as heavy and thick as I usually find in the plots but the video shows more sapling trees than I normally encounter. It's those clumps of cut grass I'm trying to avoid and it sounds like a flail mower may well be the ticket to cure my ills. Now if I can just hit the lottery so I can afford one.
Thanks again
 

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They're out there used on eBay, auction time, etc.

The caroni 6' is great, if 6' is wide enough for you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Flail....it'll cut in the rough like a bush hog and you can use it like a finish mower without the windrowing
 
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