Being a farmer or contractor is tough work. Not only do you have to keep your paddocks in tip-top shape, but you have to ensure all your machinery like tractor topper mowers are working correctly, and that you have everything you need to get the job done.
Then, you have to make sure you understand the pros and cons of maintaining your pasture, maintaining your mulchers and mowers, and keeping your grass tasty for your stock. It can seem like a never-ending battle and one that has more questions than answers.
However, if you read on, you can learn the basics to start you off on the right foot. Find out why you need mulchers, what ones are available, what mulching, and mowing is, and so much more.
What is Mulching?
Mulching, or flail mowing, is the process of using tractor topper mowers or mulchers to top the grass in your paddock and mulch it back into the ground. The goal is to cut the grass but leave the organic matter behind to serve as fertiliser to encourage better grass growth.
Unlike slashing which can leave windrows (piles and lines of grass), the process of mulching with a tractor topper mower or similar can distribute it evenly to promote better growth.
What is Mowing?
Mowing in the farming world can often take place before you let stock into a paddock to graze. You would use a tractor topper mower or similar to increase growth and achieve your target pasture residuals if you have a surplus of feed.
However, mowing before grazing doesn’t improve cow performance and can end up increasing how much imported feed you require. You may even find you have less pasture surplus for silage.
What Mulchers Are Available?
Depending on your industry, you will find there is a significant number of options for mulching. Whether you want to get your paddock into tip-top shape, remove weeds, or clear an area, a mulcher can help.
Make use of digger or skid steer mulchers, remote controlled ones, forestry, gorse, or roadside mulchers, or even foldable, front rear mounted, and general-purpose mulchers. The hardest part will be determining which one you require.
General Purpose Mulcher:
Like tractor topper mowers, you operate a general-purpose mulcher from your tractor. Depending on the brand, you may find it uses a three-cut system. The mulcher will make an initial cut with flails, suck the material into the machine, use a coarse comb to shred it; then a finer comb will offer a smaller cut before spreading it evenly as it moves.
Some of the best general-purpose mulchers also come with double-skinned rear tailgates, an automatic belt adjuster, and a heavy-duty sliding headstock.
Roadside Verge Mulcher:
A roadside verge mulcher is a piece of equipment commonly in use by city councils. You attach it to your tractor and let it get to work clearing and mulching your verges. For presentation purposes, a rear roller will leave the edge looking spectacular, while a hydraulic head will mow banks with ease.
If you want to make quick work of clearing forestry sites, then leave the tractor topper mower at home and upgrade to the big guns – the forestry mulcher. Forestry mulchers feature swinging hammer flails or tungsten carbide teeth, a double chassis, and heavy-duty skids. Even though you can use them on quite large work sites, they also operate with a high-speed rotor to create fine mulch.
A digger-mounted mulcher is, of course, a piece of equipment you would own if you had a digger. You can often choose your preference of fixed teeth or a forestry rotor – both of which are made to last. Get to work on clearing sites and putting the land to good use.
Front Rear Mount Mulcher:
If you own an orchard or need to take care of roadside mowing, then a front-rear mount mulcher is for you. Rather than mow your grass with tractor topper mowers, you can double your efficiency with a mulcher that operates from the front and rear.
Skid Steer Mulcher:
If your standard mulcher is not quite getting into the areas you need it to go, then it could be time to purchase a mulcher for your skid steer. Such a unit has a far better reach than many other models on the market, with a 360-degree swinging hammer flail. Skid steer mulchers also have heavy-duty chassis and will handle daily wear and tear well.
Gorse Scrub Mulcher:
Gorse is not only an eyesore on the average New Zealand farm, but it can take up valuable pasture too. Fortunately, if you invest in a gorse scrub mulcher, you can get rid of it quick-smart. A gorse scrub mulcher comes with self-aligning bearings for added strength, which are also enclosed to stop material from damaging them.
Ready to turn unworkable soil into something productive? Then, you need a folding mulcher. A folding mulcher can mulch up to 600cm across, offering more bang for your buck in a shorter timeframe.
If you are short of equipment and would prefer a mulcher did its own thing, then a remote-controlled one could be for you. This piece of equipment handles far trickier terrain than your average tractor topper mowers. It’s also ideal for challenging terrain, wetlands, and steep areas.
As you can tell, mulching and mowing is an integral part of an average farmer’s life. If you want rich pastures for your stock and highly productive soil, then it’s time to see the benefits of tractor topper mowers and mulchers for yourself.