A disc mower is a piece of agricultural equipment used for cutting large areas of grass, hay, or other small crops. It uses a series of rotating discs, each equipped with sharp blades, to cut the crop close to the ground. The cut crop is then left to dry before being collected for use as hay or silage.
A disc mower cuts the crop and leaves it on the field to dry. A mower conditioner, on the other hand, not only cuts the crop but also conditions it to speed up the drying process.
The conditioner part of the machine crushes or crimps the stems of the crop, creating small cracks in the waxy surface of the stem. This allows moisture to escape more quickly, reducing the time the crop needs to dry in the field before it can be baled or harvested.
Drum mowers and disc mowers are both used to cut crops to a defined height, but they use different mechanisms. A drum mower uses two or more large, round drums, each equipped with a set of blades.
As the drums rotate, the blades cut the crop. Drum mowers are generally simpler in design and can be more durable, but they may not perform as well on uneven terrain or with taller, heavier crops.
A disc mower, on the other hand, uses a series of smaller, rotating discs, each with one or two blades.
Disc mowers can handle a wider range of crop conditions and are often more efficient, but they can be more complex and potentially more expensive to maintain.
The speed at which you can operate a disc mower depends on several factors, including the type and condition of the crop, the terrain of the field, and the specific model of the mower.
However, as a general rule, disc mowers can often be run at speeds of up to 10-15 miles per hour under optimal conditions.
It's always important to refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for your specific mower and to adjust your speed based on the conditions to ensure a clean cut and avoid damaging the equipment.
Choosing between a sickle mower and a disc mower largely depends on the specific needs and circumstances of the user, as each type of mower has its own unique strengths and weaknesses.
Sickle mowers are generally less expensive than disc mowers, both in terms of initial cost and maintenance, making them a cost-effective choice for many. They are also versatile, capable of cutting a wider variety of crops, including taller, thicker vegetation. This makes them particularly useful in diverse farming environments.
However, sickle mowers generally operate at slower speeds compared to disc mowers, which can be a disadvantage in larger operations. They also have more moving parts, which can lead to more frequent breakdowns and repairs. Lastly, sickle mowers may struggle on uneven terrain, limiting their effectiveness in certain conditions.
On the other hand, disc mowers offer their own set of advantages. They can operate at higher speeds, allowing for faster cutting, which is a significant advantage for larger operations.
Disc mowers are generally more durable and can handle tougher conditions, providing a longer lifespan and better reliability. They also handle uneven terrain better than sickle mowers, making them a good choice for fields with varying topography.