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What do you mow with?

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  • What do you mow with?

    Bush hog? Finishing Mower? Regular mower?

    When I first started to lease my 15 acre farm I mowed with the farm owners zero turn mower, which takes forever, but produces a lovely looking mowed pasture.

    This winter I bought a Kubota 3300SU tractor and a Woods bush hog. I am just not happy with how the pasture looks after I use the bush hog - so I have gone back to taking twice a long to mow with the zero turn!

    Would a finishing mower give me better results or should I just give into the idea that if I want the pastures to look "pretty" after they are mowed that I am going to have to keep using the zero turn?

    Thanks for opinions!
    Lesley M. Jenks
    Finally Farm ~ Located at Yates Mill Farm
    Raleigh, NC

  • #2
    6' finish mower. Or I would, if the baby tractor would start...

    (The finish mower goes behind the little tractor which has ag tires. The tires on the big tractor tear up the ground too much.)
    ... and Patrick


    • #3
      A bush hog (rotary cutter) will cut as clean as anything else if you sharpen the blades. I sharpen mine after every few hours, and it cuts anything from trails to pastures. I did fabricate a door on the top that I can open to be able to easily get to the blades to sharpen them. If you don't let them get really dull, it doesn't take long to whet them. I can open the door, and sharpen the blades with a 4 1/2" grinder in a couple of minutes.

      Dull mower blades, regardless of what they're on, just beats the grass apart, where sharp blades leave a clean cut.

      Sharp blades also cut brush much easier with cleaner cuts too.

      We do have a few acres that are kept cut with a riding mower, but nothing like a 7 or 15 foot swath with a bush hog to get some work done.The sharp bush hog can cut grass as good as a mower. I sold our finishing mower some time after I built the sharpening door on the bush hog because it never got used again.


      • #4
        I use a John Deere 650 with a 4 foot bush hog and a huge smile on my face.

        I love to bush hog.


        • #5
          Six foot King Kutter brush hog-behind a 1947 Farmall tractor! That thing's harder to ride than any of our horses but oh I do love the results!
          “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


          • Original Poster

            My bush hog is brand new, probably haven't mowed 4 hours with it so certainly the blades are plenty sharp still. So with adjustments I might be ok with it? I just don't feel like it mows as nicely. My OCD loves how manicured everything looks with the zero turn! Giggle
            Lesley M. Jenks
            Finally Farm ~ Located at Yates Mill Farm
            Raleigh, NC


            • #7
              Pastures = sharp bush hog behind the tractor.
              Roughs = 6 ft finishing mower " " "
              lawns = commercial Zero turn.
              tricky bits = big wheel push mower

              Horses for courses !
              Last edited by Equibrit; May. 23, 2012, 05:20 PM.
              ... _. ._ .._. .._


              • #8
                And hubby just caught me mowing the pasture with the yard tractor. But I agree with Yankee, it look so nice. So now I have to do it with the bush hog. Thanks Tom, need to have hubby sharpen the blades first.

                How often do people mow their pastures?



                • #9
                  Forget about "pretty" pastures unless you are charging your horses Greens Fees

                  And take it from me:
                  mowing pasture with the zero-turn is going to give it fits, ding the blades and gunk up the carbuerator (ask me how I know this )
                  Use your tractor with the finish mower or bushhog - both of which I greatly covet.

                  I mow my pastures with the only "farm equipment" I own - 17.5HP riding mower.
                  Usually mow just once or twice a year in late Summer when the roughs get high or the weeds look like they may take over.
                  Even at the highest setting I pick up enough dirt to make a visit to the mower doctor an annual event.
                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                  • #10
                    I usually use the brush hog for the pastures at 60" finishing deck for everything else. However, at this new place we are trying to rebuild the pastures and one of the best methods of weed control is mowing. So I've been using the woods finishing mower to get the fields cut lower in order to knock back weeds.
                    A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.


                    • #11
                      Zero turn with 4 ft deck, currently cutting every 10-14 days, only have 2 and they can't keep it down. Yes hubby is a landscaper and pastures are the first thing you see before the house so yeah looks like a golf course
                      "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

                      "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


                      • #12
                        A brush hog does not mow as short as a finish mower or lawn mower so, no, no matter how sharp your blades are, the mowed field isn't going to look exactly the same. That said, most people use the brush hog--both because it handles the conditions better and many pasture grasses (as opposed to lawn grasses) are coarser and need to be cut a bit longer. (You might also do a search on forage quality versus cutting height, since many grasses are higher in sugars when they're very short.)


                        • #13
                          Pastures - Bush Hog Brand, just got a new one and it is AWESOME. Last was a bush hog brand also. I am sunscreened up, bug sprayed up and fixing to mow here in the next few minutes. Just drinking some fluids, and procrastinating a bit. The heat is coming this week, so this is my final pasture on our place to do.

                          Fencelines, front of property with some sharp angles and bumpy in many places, side yard, barnlot - John Deere 56" riding mower with a 4 wheel drive when needed.

                          Front and back yard - Honda push mower. We catch the grass so we do not carry it in the house.

                          To mow pastures you want a bush hog, NOT a finishing mower. My bush hog cuts plenty low and very nicely. Your pasture is not a golf course or your yard grass.

                          I have 990 hours on my tractor and 900 of those hours are mine and mowing pastures. I mow with a 29 HP kubota 4 wheel drive. So a 5' cutter on the back. Easy. Gets in and around all the trees nicely.

                          Out to mow, literally! Yes I also like to bush hog. It is the farmer chick in me!


                          • #14
                            zero turn as much as possible. gas utilization on the JD-Z is about 1/4 the utilization of the Ford/BH, and the effective mowing speed is about double. Have a 5 foot BH and a 4-6" ZT.
                            Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...


                            • #15
                              Our tractor came with a 6' finish mower, so that's what we use. I *don't* like mowing with a lawn tractor because I can't keep the grass as high as I want. Taller grass helps with weeds and the grass itself - more blade means more roots, generally
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by YankeeTurnedHillbilly View Post
                                My bush hog is brand new, probably haven't mowed 4 hours with it so certainly the blades are plenty sharp still. So with adjustments I might be ok with it? I just don't feel like it mows as nicely. My OCD loves how manicured everything looks with the zero turn! Giggle
                                Ah, therein lies the problem. You like a manicured look. Pastures really should not be manicured
                                "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."


                                • #17
                                  Mr IF, who loves to battle Nature, has a bush hog, a Woods finish mower and a zero turn. He prefers to use the finish mower with his Kubota tractor in the pastures.
                                  Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


                                  • #18
                                    Kubota tractor with 6' galvanized bush hog on the big pastures and it looks nice, but I think you have to have good thickish grass for it to look good. In the small pasture around the barn, the grass arena, and small paddocks, I use the zero turn mower so I can get closer to the 'stuff' (sheds, water troughs, barn, etc).
                                    Rhode Islands are red;
                                    North Hollands are blue.
                                    Sorry my thoroughbreds
                                    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :


                                    • #19
                                      Dixie Chopper zero turn radius professional mower. It's actually got as large or larger deck than many bush-hogs so doesn't take any more time to mow. My husband loves it. It is more manuverable than a tractor.
                                      "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


                                      • #20
                                        I have 10 acres of fairly flat pasture, and we use a commercial John Deere zero turn with 72" deck. IT IS AWESOME! Fast as heck (I have to wear the seat belt and a sports bra) and does a fabulous job. We actually sold our smaller Cub Cadet, JD tractor, Woods finish mower and bush hog when we got this mower
                                        "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."