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Mower Conditioner and Sorghum

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Tbone95 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tbone95 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Mower Conditioner and Sorghum
    Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 9:34am
Will be buying a new mower for this coming year (I hope).  I typically grow 10-15 acres of sorghum sudangrass, which gets VERY tall, especially if I don't get to it right away.  

Question is on conditioner type......I've only ever cut it with roller conditioners, both steel and rubber and both seemed to do OK.  A lot of the units available have the "impeller" style conditioner, and they're a bit cheaper.  Seems it would do OK in regular hay.  And that style is all I've ever used.  So, hard for me to envision stuff that's 10 feet tall going through those impellers alright?  

Any experience or thoughts on that?

Thanks all.
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AC720Man View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AC720Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 12:05pm
Sounds like you are presently using a haybine? Are you looking to buy a discbine with flail? Uses fingers instead of rollers?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote allisbred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 2:03pm
Think I’d go JD Moco with flails if you are planning to get it dry
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dr p View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr p Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 4:07pm
I had a jd 925 disc mower with the impeller. Worked great with millet
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote allisbred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 4:12pm
Another option if you only need to do that acreage is one of those MC rotary scythe mowers. Can save a bunch of money but will suck some hp. We still have a 8’ that seems to have the occasional need. Just need to grease the bearings about every few hours.

Edited by allisbred - 14 Jan 2022 at 4:16pm
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DiyDave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DiyDave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 6:32pm
I used to cut it with a drum mower, followed by an old NI roller conditioner, 1 steel and 1 rubber roller.  Thing is, just because it can grow to 10' tall, doesn't mean that you SHOULD let it get that high!  The bigger it gets, the longer it takes to dry out!  When I used to cut it, I aimed for 4-5' tall, and even then, sometimes it took a week for it to dry out enough to round bale.Wink
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Glenn (NJ) View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Glenn (NJ) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 9:09pm
From a JD Sales manual I found online:

The impeller conditioner works well in legumes, especially alfalfa and most all-grass crops. Impeller conditioners are not recommended for thick-stemmed or cane-type crops over 5-ft tall.
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Tbone95 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tbone95 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2022 at 8:03am
Yes, I currently use a Heston “haybine”. Mine happens to have 2 steel rollers. I intend to buy a disbine, haven’t decided on which one yet. JD is in the running. This summer I borrowed a new holland discbine with 2 rubber rolls. So I’ve never cut the stuff with a flail conditioner.

Dry down is not a concern since I chop it for silage.

I try to get it done at 5-6 feet, but that’s not always in the cards, and that’s still hard to imagine going through, even though I’ve never operated one with flails.

This year, most of it was 13-14 feet tall and still went through the New Holland just fine.

Glen, thank you! Looks like my concern is legitimate.

Do lots of hay acreage along with the sorghum.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alex09(WI) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2022 at 10:01am
In this part of WI, lots of dairy farmers grow Sorgum. My neighbor cuts it with a self propelled 14ft New Holland discbine. Has roller conditioners and cuts when between 4ft and 8ft high. Never had a problem going through the rollers.
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Tbone95 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tbone95 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2022 at 11:22am
Originally posted by Alex09(WI) Alex09(WI) wrote:

In this part of WI, lots of dairy farmers grow Sorgum. My neighbor cuts it with a self propelled 14ft New Holland discbine. Has roller conditioners and cuts when between 4ft and 8ft high. Never had a problem going through the rollers.

Thanks. Yeah, I’ve done it no problem with rollers. There was a spot this year that was so thick and tall it had some trouble going under the lean bar and into the machine, but once inside the machine passed it through no problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Michael V (NM) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jan 2022 at 11:05am
why not just cut the sorghum with a direct cut silage head? that would eliminate a pass with the mo-co. or does it need to 'dry' for a day or so for quality?

Yea, what Glen said about the flail conditioners on big sorghum/cane, I had a neighbor help some time ago with a flail conditioner, it done nothing to help dry-down, didn't break the stalks at all, and threw the windrow down hard on the ground, wasn't "fluffed" at all.  took forever to dry to bale...


Edited by Michael V (NM) - 16 Jan 2022 at 11:05am
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Tbone95 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tbone95 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jan 2022 at 12:17pm
Yes, it should wilt down some as it is very wet when first cut. Plus, I have to buy a mower anyway so I might as well get something that will work with everything I’ve got going. I’d have to buy a head and a mower for that way.

Never a perfect plan….and thanks for your input.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnColo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jan 2022 at 1:50pm
I've cut sudex with my Hesston 1345 hydro swing swather with flails, seems to do a pretty good job of cracking the stems.  It takes longer to dry then hay but the stems have a lot more water in them.  I spread the windrows as wide as the machine allows and then rake it up a few days later.  I've owned three JD swathers over the years, finally learned my lesson (must be a slow learner!), Will never own a green haying machine as long as I live!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote *DougW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan 2022 at 6:38pm
I have 956 moco with impellers. I mow
    Sudan for a customer, usually 6 feet high. No problem with impeller plus no worries with stones and rocks or plugging the rolls with a slug. I have been told by customers, grass hay dries faster with a impeller. There may be a little more leaf loss in alfalfa but keep the rpm's set on slow speed, no problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote victoryallis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan 2022 at 8:31pm
Neighbor has a Deere with impeller and majorly regrets getting talked into the impeller.  He thinks it doesn’t dry as well.  Buy a 7230 NH and enjoy life.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tbone95 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2022 at 7:19am
Originally posted by *DougW *DougW wrote:

I have 956 moco with impellers. I mow
    Sudan for a customer, usually 6 feet high. No problem with impeller plus no worries with stones and rocks or plugging the rolls with a slug. I have been told by customers, grass hay dries faster with a impeller. There may be a little more leaf loss in alfalfa but keep the rpm's set on slow speed, no problem.

Originally posted by victoryallis victoryallis wrote:

Neighbor has a Deere with impeller and majorly regrets getting talked into the impeller.  He thinks it doesn’t dry as well.  Buy a 7230 NH and enjoy life.  

Gotta love it.  Ask a question, never fails, there will be diametrically opposed answers back to back.  LOL

Thank you everyone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote victoryallis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2022 at 8:46pm
Originally posted by Tbone95 Tbone95 wrote:

Originally posted by *DougW *DougW wrote:

I have 956 moco with impellers. I mow
    Sudan for a customer, usually 6 feet high. No problem with impeller plus no worries with stones and rocks or plugging the rolls with a slug. I have been told by customers, grass hay dries faster with a impeller. There may be a little more leaf loss in alfalfa but keep the rpm's set on slow speed, no problem.

Originally posted by victoryallis victoryallis wrote:

Neighbor has a Deere with impeller and majorly regrets getting talked into the impeller.  He thinks it doesn’t dry as well.  Buy a 7230 NH and enjoy life.  

Gotta love it.  Ask a question, never fails, there will be diametrically opposed answers back to back.  LOL

Thank you everyone.

And that should surprise you how?

For example ask on a snowmobile forum what’s the best first sled.  Some guys would say Arctic Cat some Polaris, others Ski Doo.  
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Tbone95 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tbone95 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2022 at 6:59am
Doesn’t surprise me at all. Hence the laughter and statement that it never fails.

Must use opposite inflection on your side of the state.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cottonpatch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2022 at 5:15pm
Go with rollers.  Flail machines pull a lot harder than roller machines.  Impeller machines do not crack stems, contrary to input above, they work by removing the waxy cuticle from the stem.  Major drying difference in crops that have heavier stems such as sorghum using the rollers which in fact do crack the stem.  
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