Mowing Food Plots

   / Mowing Food Plots #1  

shooterdon

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
Messages
4,023
Location
Near Johannesburg MI but in the middle of nowhere
Tractor
2019 LS XR4140 HST Cab; 2020 Kawasaki Mule SX; 2021 Bad Boy 54" ZT Elite
My neighbor has asked me to help him.

He has food plots that he wants to mow to a height of over 6 in. Plots are tilled every year so ground is rough. One large plot has numerous raised sprinkler heads (on pipes about 3 ft off the ground), so a brush hog is a pain to use.

A few days ago we used a Husqvarna 54 rider and even at the 6 setting it seemed to cut too low....not sure why but it looked more like 4 in. Also, it really struggled in the area he planted alfalfa.

His budget is $5000

I was thinking a used JD 655, 755, or 855 with mmm might be good. Any other thoughts.
 
   / Mowing Food Plots #2  
Why does he want them mowed to 6 inches if they are tilled every year?
 
   / Mowing Food Plots #3  
Will those mowers mow 6" high?
 
   / Mowing Food Plots #4  
I think you'll be hard pressed to get a 6 in. cut even with the deck all the way up. I have a JD 4310 with a 72" MMM that I let the wife use to mow weeds down in the horse pastures and even with the deck fully raised it's close to 6" but not much past it thats for sure.

Personally I would look at an older two wheel drive farm tractor with a bush hog. Uneven bumpy terrain and heavy mowing don't go well with compact tractors with smaller tires and lightweight decks that can't clean the clippings out fast enough. Anything from the late 50's/early 60's on will typically have independent PTO and live hydraulics. If you buy a used bush hog you can even take a torch and widen the discharge opening a little bit more and it will help prevent windrowing of the clippings on the plot.
 
   / Mowing Food Plots
  • Thread Starter
#5  
I think you'll be hard pressed to get a 6 in. cut even with the deck all the way up. I have a JD 4310 with a 72" MMM that I let the wife use to mow weeds down in the horse pastures and even with the deck fully raised it's close to 6" but not much past it thats for sure.

Personally I would look at an older two wheel drive farm tractor with a bush hog. Uneven bumpy terrain and heavy mowing don't go well with compact tractors with smaller tires and lightweight decks that can't clean the clippings out fast enough. Anything from the late 50's/early 60's on will typically have independent PTO and live hydraulics. If you buy a used bush hog you can even take a torch and widen the discharge opening a little bit more and it will help prevent windrowing of the clippings on the plot.

We have a bush hog.....not sprinkler head friendly
 
   / Mowing Food Plots #6  
I use my 3 pt finish mower to mow my clover plots. i just raise it up to the height i want , but those pipes might be a problem.
 
   / Mowing Food Plots #7  
Given his $5,000 budget, his choices might be about right. I would opt for the 755 or 855 as a MMM takes more hp in heavy grass than a Rotary Cutter. If could find a B Kubota or a New Holland TC 21D with MMM that might also be an option. You can find those Cub 154 and 184 Lowboys pretty cheap, but under powered and 3 speed transmissions.
 
   / Mowing Food Plots #8  
Why not smooth them out in the spring if hes going to mow them? I assume these are clover or some other kind of non anual crop.

My bobcat zero turn goes to 5in (actual). No regular lawn mower is going much above 4in. The 3pt hitch could be handly for making and up keep on the food plots too. A finish mower on a tractor is prob the best all around tool for this.

You dont mow a food plot every other week so idk how a few obstacles would be that much of a pain.
 
 
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