Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've got 100 acres of newly seeded CRP and just finished mowing it the first time (barely) with an old 9' sickle mower. A disc mower would probably be the least cost and be used on my old 4020. A bat wing would be much faster and I'd use my 4640 with cab and A/C, but it would be the most costly it seems.

Will need to mow it at least two more times this year, at least twice the next two years. The 100 acres consists of sidehills, flat ground, and some rocks in a two acre area. Lots of turning and small fields.

Thoughts and opinions appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,687 Posts
In my opinion, my flail uses WAY less HP than a rotary like a bat wing.

My nephew switched from a 14' bush hog to a 14' flail because of the HP requirements.

The flail can just go faster.

The disc mower is an interesting thought,,
can you get one that does not windrow?? :dunno:
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
1,932 Posts
I've used a 7' sickle mower and an 8' disc mower to mow CRP before. Disc mower was less maintenance, wouldn't plug near as easy and I could drive twice as fast. Provided I could stay on the tractor seat as some of the fields were brutal. I would think a bat wing mower would mean more cost, more fuel and you'd have to drive slower and use a bigger tractor. Our neighbors used a flail mower to mow theirs and it worked good.

The disk mower we used didn't leave windrows. A bat wing would sure shred the crop though.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
754 Posts
Been my experience that a rotary like a batwing, and a flail mower both pull hard, need similar HP per foot of cut. Sickle mower pulls easiest but most prone to plug and needs lots of maintenance. Disk mowers are expensive, and also need quite a bit of HP, but probably offer the most acres cut per hour per gallon of fuel. Sickle mower has to go slower to mow CRP, has the frustration of plugging, probably burns the least fuel but also could do the fewest acres per hour.

Dad had a heck of a time getting over his 40 acres of CRP 30 years ago. He tried a sickle mower, flail, and really regretted selling his rotary bush hog. Pretty sure he only had to mow once per year but had a specific time frame it had to be mowed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

Any possible hay production would be limited to mowing small patches of grass pasture since I no longer have cattle (7-15 acres max) .

I'm not familiar with a flail mower. Will it do a good job in the tractor wheel tracks ? Are they similar to a stalk cutter ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,867 Posts
Cost

I'm not sure what you are looking at for cost but our 7' disc mower was quite a bit more expensive than the equivalent width rotary mower. We bought a 15' bat wing used for the same or less cost than the disc mower was new.

Personally I would go with the rotary mower because you can get more mower for the same cost and it would handle any larger bushes that might pop up. Our disc mower will cut those but I wince if I ever hear one because they are really designed to cut grass, not shrubs. I have visions of bad things happening if it hits something just a bit too large. It's also a bit of a pain and not cheap to change all those little blades compared to just sharpening a set of mower blades. That's really easy on a bat wing as we can just fold everything up, chain it for safety and take a grinder to the blades while it's still on the mower.

I would and did buy a used rotary cutter. I'm not sure I would buy a used disc mower unless I knew the previous owner really well and how it was used.

All of the above changes if you anticipate going into hay where a disc mower really shines. I would only use a sickle mower if really forced to do so. We have one that's been in a shed for many years and frankly, I have no desire to go back to it. The disc mower is just a better tool for hay, faster, less clogging, less maintenance etc. We would make you a deal on the sickle if you want to go that route!

Treefarmer
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigJim55

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thank you Treefarmer for your input.

Could anyone estimate what the ground speed of the batwing mower would be compared to using a disc mower ? Half, perhaps , in CRP conditions ?

The biggest thing keeping me from a batwing is my neighbor's experience with his. It's green in color and he's had to replace a complete driveline on one wing recently. He says it's been a very expensive mower for mowing road ditches and that sort of thing. But I'm sure not all batwings would be like that.

Does anyone have experience with a JD 270 disc mower ? I understand it's pretty old and does not have a sheer hub on it ? It's priced at $3750 at a local dealer and comes from a one-owner family.

Let me throw one more thing in the mix: I'm planning to retire in three years so it won't be a "long term" investment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,439 Posts
I've used a 7' sickle mower and an 8' disc mower to mow CRP before. Disc mower was less maintenance, wouldn't plug near as easy and I could drive twice as fast. Provided I could stay on the tractor seat as some of the fields were brutal. I would think a bat wing mower would mean more cost, more fuel and you'd have to drive slower and use a bigger tractor. Our neighbors used a flail mower to mow theirs and it worked good.

The disk mower we used didn't leave windrows. A bat wing would sure shred the crop though.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Aren't bigger tractors more fun? :lol:


all kidding aside, this is a great post.
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
1,932 Posts
Thank you Treefarmer for your input.

Could anyone estimate what the ground speed of the batwing mower would be compared to using a disc mower ? Half, perhaps , in CRP conditions ?

The biggest thing keeping me from a batwing is my neighbor's experience with his. It's green in color and he's had to replace a complete driveline on one wing recently. He says it's been a very expensive mower for mowing road ditches and that sort of thing. But I'm sure not all batwings would be like that.

Does anyone have experience with a JD 270 disc mower ? I understand it's pretty old and does not have a sheer hub on it ? It's priced at $3750 at a local dealer and comes from a one-owner family.

Let me throw one more thing in the mix: I'm planning to retire in three years so it won't be a "long term" investment.
By sheer hub do you mean sheer pin? If so neither our sickle mower or our disk mower had sheer pins. They had a trip mechanism where if you hit something solid, the mechanism would trip and the mower would suddenly be straight behind you.

I think for $3750 for the JD 270 for three years I'd do it. If only mowing a couple times a year.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,867 Posts
Ground speed

Thank you Treefarmer for your input.

Could anyone estimate what the ground speed of the batwing mower would be compared to using a disc mower ? Half, perhaps , in CRP conditions ?

The biggest thing keeping me from a batwing is my neighbor's experience with his. It's green in color and he's had to replace a complete driveline on one wing recently. He says it's been a very expensive mower for mowing road ditches and that sort of thing. But I'm sure not all batwings would be like that.

Does anyone have experience with a JD 270 disc mower ? I understand it's pretty old and does not have a sheer hub on it ? It's priced at $3750 at a local dealer and comes from a one-owner family.

Let me throw one more thing in the mix: I'm planning to retire in three years so it won't be a "long term" investment.
Our ground speed limitation is usually determined by the ground condition. We can mow faster with either the batwing or the disc mower than I'm comfortable driving considering ground hog holes, ruts etc. The batwing is 15' and the disc mower is 7' wide so the batwing obviously wins on the time needed for a total job. We don't mow as close with the batwing, normally about a foot high where the disc mower is about 3". (It will cut lower but grass doesn't regrow as well with a low cut).

Congrats on the proposed retirement. I hope to get there someday myself.

Treefarmer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
By sheer hub do you mean sheer pin? If so neither our sickle mower or our disk mower had sheer pins. They had a trip mechanism where if you hit something solid, the mechanism would trip and the mower would suddenly be straight behind you.

I think for $3750 for the JD 270 for three years I'd do it. If only mowing a couple times a year.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thank you cheesetrain. I'm not sure exactly, the salesman referred to it as a sheer hub. I will ask the previous owner if I decide to pursue the disc mower. And yes the price is tempting for what I need it for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Our ground speed limitation is usually determined by the ground condition. We can mow faster with either the batwing or the disc mower than I'm comfortable driving considering ground hog holes, ruts etc. The batwing is 15' and the disc mower is 7' wide so the batwing obviously wins on the time needed for a total job. We don't mow as close with the batwing, normally about a foot high where the disc mower is about 3". (It will cut lower but grass doesn't regrow as well with a low cut).

Congrats on the proposed retirement. I hope to get there someday myself.

Treefarmer
Thank you Treefarmer. The batwing looks like a good choice if I won't be making hay also.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,068 Posts
Thank you Treefarmer. The batwing looks like a good choice if I won't be making hay also.
I've always seen disc and sickle mowers used solely for hay production. They don't chop up the grass when they cut it, but leave it flat on the ground to be raked. If you're not planning to take and gather the mowed grass, leaving big carpets of mowed stuff on top of the growing grass could be a problem. A rotary/ batwing will chop it up much better and help the mowed grass break down faster.

Hay production, I'd go disc or swather. Otherwise I think a batwing is a much better fit for general maintenance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I've always seen disc and sickle mowers used solely for hay production. They don't chop up the grass when they cut it, but leave it flat on the ground to be raked. If you're not planning to take and gather the mowed grass, leaving big carpets of mowed stuff on top of the growing grass could be a problem. A rotary/ batwing will chop it up much better and help the mowed grass break down faster.

Hay production, I'd go disc or swather. Otherwise I think a batwing is a much better fit for general maintenance.
Thank you 56FordGuy for your input.

Can anyone comment on whether the batwing does a good job of cutting in the wheel tracks of the tractor ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,867 Posts
Does ok

Thank you 56FordGuy for your input.

Can anyone comment on whether the batwing does a good job of cutting in the wheel tracks of the tractor ?
Our batwing does a fairly good job of that as long as the grass isn't too wet. If it's wet and gets crushed the mower won't pull it back up. Otherwise it does a ok. The cut is actually better than the little 5' rotary mower behind my 790.

Treefarmer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,439 Posts
I've always seen disc and sickle mowers used solely for hay production. They don't chop up the grass when they cut it, but leave it flat on the ground to be raked. If you're not planning to take and gather the mowed grass, leaving big carpets of mowed stuff on top of the growing grass could be a problem. A rotary/ batwing will chop it up much better and help the mowed grass break down faster.

Hay production, I'd go disc or swather. Otherwise I think a batwing is a much better fit for general maintenance.
My new neighbor just bush hogged his field. I hired me to rake it up and then he took it and put it into a haystack in his barn.

As for this, lets not forget mower conditioners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
After much consideration, I'm seriously looking at a 15' batwing mower. I'd like to pull it with my 4640 because it has good A/C but I've never had the duals off. Would I be crazy to mow with duals if my CRP is dry in the afternoons ? Duals are 18.4 - 42 set for 30" rows. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,439 Posts
After much consideration, I'm seriously looking at a 15' batwing mower. I'd like to pull it with my 4640 because it has good A/C but I've never had the duals off. Would I be crazy to mow with duals if my CRP is dry in the afternoons ? Duals are 18.4 - 42 set for 30" rows. Thanks.
i don't see why not.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top