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Exclusive Article

Talk of the Town:
The Best Way to Finish Mow 5 Acres?

Another great discussion from the Tractor Talk Discussion Forum.

The discussion started out with the following post:

" I currently have a number of small tractors and I am looking for a cost effective way to mow 5 acres. I have an AC B, JD B, Farmall BN, Ford 8N, but what I use to cut my lawn is a reliable MTD 18hp 48" tractor. I want to get a bigger cut though 6 - 8 foot. Should I get some old reel mowers to put behind my tractors. Do reel mowers require alot of maintenance? Should I get a flail mower secondhand for the 3 pt 8N? How about a six foot 3pt rotary mower? How about an old golf course mower? What's a good price for any of this stuff? I currently use a tow behind brush hog to mow the larger fields. I hate cutting grass and would like to get a cheap faster way of doing things so I can do work that really needs to be done around the farm. Are there other people out there who hate mowing this much? Please comment and provide guidance. "

What followed are some interesting replies:

" I would consider the number of trees and shrubs, as well as the lay of the land. I first tried a combo package of a Sears 48" deck, 18hp, along with tractor drawn bushhog. The bushhog finish was pretty poor. Then I bought a Bushhog brand 6' finish mower, this did much better but was still very slow around the trees. Then I acquired a used 7 gang, hydraulic powered reel mower ($350, believe it or not) First thing it did was stall out my JD 60, plus it didn't cut the fescue worth a damn. So what I've ended up doing was selling all the above accessories, went to a professional lawn care equipment company, and bought a zero turn commerical mower. It wasn't cheap but I can cut the yard in about 1.25 hours, plus my wife likes to drive it. Now I thinking about adding that neat pull behind self powered 40" deck to hit the open areas (Northern Hyd, $750 ) , that would give me a little over 8' per pass. I know this sounds extravagant, but if I had to sell off my equipment one piece at a time, that mower would the last to go. (thats how much I hate mowing grass !) Oh, by the way, this mower market is so competitive, the dealers will bring out a mower to your property, and do a demo. "

" Sounds to me like you need more farm and less yard. Move the fence and buy a sheep or two. "

" I use a Ford 2N and a Woods 5 foot deck finish mower to cut about 8 acres. I agree, mowing grass rates right down there with prostate exams, but the finish mower makes the job go better. Get something with stabilizer chains to keep you from having to fuss with the hydraulics all the time. Of course price is dependent upon condition! "

" I suggest a 6 foot finishing mower. I have 5 acres and use a 48 model Ferguson TE-20 (basically an 8 N) and mow with a Land Pride 6foot finishing mower. It has 4 tires on it to kep the cut even. You never have to play with the hydrolics at all. I found my mower used for 600.00 "

" The gang set ups with reel type mowers are best used as finishing mowers for clear even surfaces like golf courses and university campuses. They are kind of a hassle to set up properly after sharpening and finding a body who does a really good job sharpening them is getting to be like the quest for the holy grail. We used to set them to cut at about 4" and cut the U of U weekly. Rotary mowers now seem to be the weapon of choice because they'll suck up everything and cut it even if 4000 students wnader over the lawn. For pasture or rough ground I'd recommend the common rotary decks. If you want a golf course finish then the reel is the only way to fly. "

" I have the same problem:6 acres,sticks and trees. Am considering a new $1400 Swisher T60(5') to put behind the 40+" JD 212. My concern is how does an offset mower affect pulling? Would appreciate anyone's experience on pulling a trailing offset mower. "

This information was gathered at the Tractor Talk Discussion Board.

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