Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Sustainable Living and Land use › Sustainable Farming › sickle bar vs brush hog
- May 30, 2016 at 6:14 pm #88968ethalernullParticipant
with mowing season well upon us i’m looking for opinions and advice about mower types. i’ll be transitioning from brush hogging to sickle bar mowing this year now that i have a working mower and I want to use the mower and horses as much as possible, but i’m still torn over the efficacy of sickle bar mowing in certain scenarios…for example i have a rye cover crop with red clover undersown and feel inclined to brush hog rather than clip to break down the rye more. similarly, headlands and grazed pasture is filled with tall and stemmy grass, and i feel more inclined to brush hog the first crop rather than sickle bar so that i leave less residue on our field edges (for equipment and people to drag around) and for our pasture regrowth. any thoughts? does the sickle bar perform just as well or is there significant delay in regrowth if lots of residue is mowed and remains on the grass?May 31, 2016 at 6:21 am #88969Does’ LeapParticipant
I’ve never used a brush hog. The sickle bar has served me well in clipping pastures. No problem with regrowth.
GeorgeMay 31, 2016 at 6:45 am #88970Ed ThayerParticipant
I have mowed with a sickle and a brush hog on the same piece of land and really never saw any difference other than the brush hog does do a better job of chewing up the grass. The sickle and horses are more peaceful however 🙂
EdMay 31, 2016 at 10:17 am #88971LongViewFarmParticipant
I have transitioned from bush hog to sickle bar for the same reasons Ed mentioned. I now only mow with the brush hog if I get behind in the season and have to rush.
On Sat I had the good fortune to run a John Deere #3 mower and a McCormick Deering #7 one right after the other. That was pretty cool. This was the first year that I didn’t accidentally clip a fiberglass fence post too…
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.May 31, 2016 at 10:50 am #88973
I have the brush hog mocked up to the I an J ground drive cart right now. I need to fix the valve stem on one wheel, but hopefully I will get a chance to test it this week. I will let you know if it is “peaceful” or not. I dont think it will chop up thick rye but we will see.June 1, 2016 at 3:32 pm #88975
I test drove the 4ft brush hog behind the I and J cart this morning and it did much better than I thought it would. I just mowed the sides of the road but it was fairly thick grass and clover. a little vibration but not as hard of a pull as I had expected. I need to modify my hitch so that it will turn easier but Im more optimistic now. I will repost once I figure out the turning radius/side draft issue.September 21, 2016 at 8:07 pm #89447
Following up after brush hogging more this summer. 4ft brush hog mounted to some angle iron brackets u bolted to the frame of a light duty I and J cart. It works well for stemy brush like golden rod and small honeysuckle regrowth. It chokes up pretty quick in thick grass and probably wouldnt work well with a thick stand of cover crop. I bet it would work great to set back young cover crop or some juicy buckwheat. The main downside I have with it for pasture clipping is the sharp stems that are left, but that is more of a pasture quality issue.
If i ran it over the thick grass with the pto off for a pass to lay the grass down and then went back in the same direction with the pto engaged it cut pretty well. If you are only brush hogging a small market garden it might be worth the two passes.
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