A new flail conditioning system has been designed and built for customers growing grass-type hay, says Krista Knigge, Case IH hay and forage products marketing manager. The Case IH Flail option is available on the Case IH DCX101 side-pull rotary disc mower with a 10’4” cutting width, and the DCX131 center-pivot, 13’-width model.
The flails are free-swinging, straight but tapered, and bigger at the bottom than at the top. “This design makes it less abusive to the hay and allows the hay to release at a higher trajectory and fall naturally,” Knigge explains. “So hay sits on top of the stubble for quicker drying and better airflow around the windrow.”
Knigge adds that different kits are available “to help growers tune the machine’s level of conditioning specifically to your crop and your conditions. One is a slow-speed rotor kit that will allow you to be gentler on the hay. And some crops are a little harder to condition, so we also offer a textured hood liner kit that allows you to be more aggressive on the crop.
“Depending on what type of grass you’re mowing, it might be advantageous to slow the material down and hold it up in the conditioner, so the flails on the rotor can do a better job of stripping the waxy layer off the crop, allowing the moisture to migrate out of the stems,” Knigge says.