More Hay In A Day

Massey Ferguson® DM Series triple mowers offer volume, versatility and value.

By Jason Jenkins | Photos By AGCO Corp.

Albert Hinrichs understands the importance of time management. The dairyman from Whitemouth, Manitoba, cares for a herd of nearly 200 Holsteins, milking more than 100 cows each and every day. With such a constant demand, Hinrichs has learned that time, like other resources, shouldn’t be wasted.

So, when he and his wife, Lynda, needed to replace a mower after the 2016 season, they examined all options. With roughly 300 acres of mixed alfalfa/grass hay to manage, they needed a machine that could cut forage quickly, effectively and efficiently. They chose the Massey Ferguson DM Series triple mowers.

With the ability to cut a 30.5-foot swath in just one pass, the DM Series allows forage producers to harvest their crops fast, while also making use of an operation’s existing high-horsepower tractor. “We already had the tractor, a Fendt® 820, with the front PTO and 3-point hitch, so it made perfect sense,” says Hinrichs, who works with AGCO® farm equipment dealership AgWest. “And price-wise, the triple mower is cheaper per foot than other mowers.”

A Silage Solution

While self-propelled windrowers may be the best solution for some producers, especially those who cut nothing but alfalfa, that power unit and header are dedicated to one task. For producers like Hinrichs, who farms with his son Christian, such specialization isn’t necessary—but speed and efficiency are.

“Productivity is by far the triple mower’s biggest advantage,” says Zach Quintana, AGCO marketing product specialist, hay tools. “The biggest header we offer on a self-propelled windrower is 16 feet, and that machine is capable of running 17 mph in the field. Our triple mower is almost double that width, and you’re still capable of running 15 to 17 mph.”

Fewer trips across the field and the ability to cut greater volumes of hay quickly were among the selling points for Hinrichs. “We make quite a bit of silage in wrapped round bales, so we’re cutting what we can bale the next day,” he says, noting they mix their own dairy rations using grain grown on the farm. “You can cut a lot faster—acres and acres per hour—with the triple. In three hours, I can cut 80 acres. I can’t do that with any other machine.”

Flexible Features

The DM Series triple mowers offer convenience unmatched by other cutting equipment. While it may cut a wide swath, the rear mower’s butterfly design allows it to fold with the pull of a hydraulic lever. “Transport width is less than 10 feet, so it packs up into a pretty nice package to get up and down the road quickly between fields,” Quintana says. “It also fits through smaller gates with ease.”

Adding further to such efficacy is the ability to operate the mowers with optional tine conditioners and mergers. This allows forage producers to cut and condition according to the crop they’re harvesting, preserving the highest quality.

“The tine conditioners on the triple can be removed by the operator pretty easily,” Quintana says. “So, if you’re a custom cutter and you have a customer who’s all about grass hay, then put your tine conditioners on. If you go to the next customer and he has alfalfa and is concerned about devaluing the hay, then you can pull your tine conditioners off.”

Quintana notes that the front mower operates independent of the rear, allowing triple mower owners to cut narrow swaths if the need arises. It also can be used in tandem with an existing single, 3-point-mounted rear mower, doubling cutting widths now with the option of expanding with a rear butterfly mower in the future.

Cutting Convenience

Hinrichs purchased his triple mowers with tine conditioners, which he says helps his mixed hay dry more quickly. “The faster you can get it off the field, the better your feed value,” he adds.
Quintana says that Massey Ferguson’s DM Series triple mowers offer other advantages. The mowers don’t require load-sensing hydraulics, which means they are compatible with a wider range of tractors. Both the front and rear mowers employ a gear-driven design that requires less maintenance than comparable belt-driven mowers. Those gears are protected by the DriveGuard™ shear protection system.

“In addition, we achieve our cutting width with fewer knives in the cutterbar, and fewer knives equates to less time and expense when it comes time to change those knives,” he says. “The DM Series also is equipped with our quick-change knife system, so if you hit something in the field and bend a knife, you can swap it out right there. No tools are required.”

Hinrichs says the triple mowers fit his needs—and his pocketbook. “We’re making silage bales within 24 hours,” he says. “Cut one day, rake the next morning and bale it. We love it.”