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Discussion Starter #1
I just got my first full sized tractor, and it's time to do some renovation work the hay and bush hog contractors didn't do. The field has only been hayed once a year most of the five years I've been here, my friend across town gets four cuttings off his own field, so it's not just the weather. We are hillier and less well drained than my friend, May hay might not be possible with a tractor. The field is very bumpy and hilly, the first we can do more about than the second.

There is supposedly an antique drainage system under the field, but I don't think it's operating well. I wouldn't know where to start looking for the pipes even if I had a backhoe to dig them up with. The outlet is a pond on a neighbor's property that got subdivided off of our farm years ago, so changing how well that drains might become a political issue with the neighbor.

So far I've got a rotary cutter, a chain harrow, and no immediate need to get hay off the field. (I've got a good supplier of hay at the moment.) The pasture is actively used, but I would like to partition it up and do more rotational grazing.

I'm currently working on just chopping up the hay that didn't get harvested this year, and then I'll tackle mowing the pastures down. (Grass is all eaten up for the year, all that is left is weeds.)

Oh, in addition to neglect, the pigs got loose this year and tore up the pastures, so we'll probably need to re-seed as well as harrow out the ruts they left behind.

So should I harrow immediately after mowing? I'm afraid the vegetation would clog up the harrow if I did it now. It's going to be too wet to do it in the spring, so I think my next opportunity would be after first hay cutting next year.

I think the long term plan is to go to a more rotational plan, and for each section alternate grazing and haying. I'll be doing loose hay, so doing small sections at a time will make final stacking easier, and having a hay cycle between grazing cycles cuts down on parasite issues.
 

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A chain harrow is what we refer to as a pasture harrow, and not intended to harrow cut grass. It is designed to drag out manure piles, gopher mounds, and loose soil and distribute them across short grasses or legumes on reasonably prepared ground with standing pasture.

For pasture and field renovation you want a disc harrow. The amount of vegetation standing or laying will dictate the size and blade pressure of the disc harrow needed. For preparation prior to harrowing, I recommend a flail mower to chop the standing crop to avoid multiple passes with a harrow.

If you contact your USDA Farm Service folks they can put you in touch with your local Extension Agent, and they provide free advice. https://www.outreach.usda.gov/USDALocalOffices.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks!
I guess I know what to look for in next spring’s auctions. Disk harrow is simple enough tech that I feel confident about going used, and my tractor manual has a width specification for that
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Our flail mower is wee tiny, we are not going to cover a significant amount of the field with it. Even if we upgrade to something sized to the new tractor, that is a significant step down in cut with from the rotary. Maybe possible to rent equipment or contract it done.

This first pass of the hay field is the most problematic with excess dead vegetation. The pasture is eaten down, just a few weeds to clear. In the future I hope to be cutting hay and make use of the standing vegetation. It was mowed annually until last year. The hay isn't great now, but the animals do grow on it. Just increasing frequency of harvest should help some. The harrowing makes running the tractor over it less exciting.
 

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You can try multiple pass mowing with a rotary with real sharp blades to break down the dry stuff once you have enough green growing so the mowed crop is up off the ground. Let it dry well between mowings, so the old cut stuff will fluff up and go through the rotary mower multiple times.

Or bale and burn the old grass if you are allowed to burn.

Just saw your tractor on the accomplishment post. That is a good candidate for one of the affordable double gang three point mount discs. You will have the pasture prepared in short order.
 

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I am not sure what the manual means by "pull type," as to me that means a harrow that has a hitch that pins to your drawbar, a hydraulic cylinder that plumbs to your rear spools, and other than being a bugger to maneuver around a small field the smaller versions tend to require a minimum of 90 horsepower.

I would chat with your Kubota dealer about the DH15 series three point mount harrow. Light, easy to maneuver, simple to hook up to the tractor, and inexpensive. For field renovation you want notched front blades to catch and cut the vegetation and dirt, then smooth rear blades to distribute the material.

Notched blades on both front and rear gangs will tend to till instead of smooth when used for pasture renovation.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The LandPride site calls the D-35 a pull-type, looks like a drawbar hitch rather than 3-pt.

Hoping to see what's available at auction next spring. Want to stick with cash buys for a bit until the tractor herself is paid off.
 
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