Choosing the Right Hay-Gathering Machine for Your Operation
Producers have a wide range of options when deciding what type of hay-gathering tool to buy. Before making a purchase, though, it’s important to step back and evaluate the needs of your operation. After reviewing the needs of your operation, consider the characteristics of each type of hay-gathering machine: wheel rakes, rotary rakes, belt mergers, rake/tedder combinations, and parallel bar rakes.
These rakes are built for speed and productivity when handling dry hay. Wheel rakes hook up fast with their drawbar attachments and require minimal adjustments for proper operation. The simple and economical ground drive simplifies operation and reduces maintenance requirements to save time. Producers can often operate wheel rakes at higher raking speeds than rotary rakes, which translates into more acres raked per hour. However, the direct contact with the ground increases the ash content of the feed, decreasing overall quality.
The combined features of wheel rakes make them perfect for producers who want to quickly and economically rake dry hay.
These powered rakes create a uniform and fluffy windrow, which allows crops to dry faster. The gentle rotary-raking action minimizes leaf loss and provides a more uniform windrow for better bale formation than other rakes. These dual-purpose rakes are capable of handling both wet forage and dry hay, giving them a greater versatility than wheel rakes. A rotary rakes' mechanical drive enables it to move heavy, wet crops. It also keeps the tines from contacting the ground, minimizing the amount of contamination raked into the crop. This results in higher-quality feed. Kuhn's wide range of rotary rakes have single, double, or quad rotors and come in a wide variety of sizes to work with every mower on the market. These machines are easily maneuverable and closely follow changing field contours for clean raking.
Rotary rakes are the right choice for producers who want high-quality forage.
Mergers allow producers to quickly merge multiple swaths to make forage harvesting more efficient. High-quality forage is ensured by gentle handling, minimal leaf loss, and a uniform windrow for improved harvesting. Belt mergers lift and convey crop to the windrow, minimizing the risk of soil, stones, and other contaminants. This improves forage quality and reduces the risk of damage to expensive forage harvesters. Mergers are the ideal choice for forage harvesting in wet hay conditions.
Belt mergers are the choice for producers who want to efficiently harvest top-quality forage, with the highest possible nutritional value.
Designed for the hobbyist and other small acreage producers of dry hay, combination machines are often the best solution for those who want the functionality of both a rotary rake and tedder without the added expense of two individual machines. HAYBOB combination rake/tedders are ideally suited to working with smaller mowers and mower conditioners of 10 feet and less. However, they may also be used to ted and recombine individual windrows from larger mower conditioners to speed drying.
Parallel Bar Rakes
These machines are relatively simple, with a design that dates back over 100 years. However, this type of rake is being replaced by rotary and wheel rake designs. Rotary rakes are similarly-priced and have additional benefits, such as the ability to produce fluffy windrows in all crop conditions. Wheel rakes are a more economical choice and offer similar raking quality to parallel bar rakes.
Take stock of your needs and then look to Kuhn’s broad range of raking solutions to find the products that are best suited to your operation. Choose from our SpeedRake wheel rakes, our broad range of GA rotary rakes, our efficient Merge Maxx belt mergers, or our versatile HAYBOB combination rake/tedders. You’re sure to find the right machine for your operation.
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