Keeping field margins and boundaries in tidy condition has traditionally been a job for the hedgecutter at JD & RJ Baker Farms based at Crossways Farm, Bury St Edmunds.
But high flail wear, slow productivity and the need for a very experienced operator led to a rethink. And that’s where a Kverneland FHP Plus 250 took over, supplied by TNS.
“It’s a much easier machine to use, and offers high productivity compared to a hedgecutter with a 1.2 or 1.5m flail head,” explains Simon Farrow who shares flail mowing duties with owner Bill Baker. “With a 2.5m cutting width, we can soon nip round field boundaries, banks and field corners, when there’s a need to tidy up, leaving the hedgecutter for its intended purpose.”
Simon Farrow likes the simplicity and robustness of the FHP Plus 250 flail mower.
Used on a Fendt 516, forward speeds can be easily varied from 0.5-10kph, to suit field conditions. And with a parallelogram frame, side-shift is easily applied to accommodate obstacles such as telegraph poles or masts.
“Using spool valves, the flail head can be angles up/down, and pushed left/right,” he says. “It’s very simple to mow on ditch banks or gradients, as well as alter the working height to adjust the finish.”
Mr Farrow says that cutting height is set at around 50-75mm, giving tolerance on undulating ground.
“The steel roller does a great job of carrying the flail, and it leaves a tidy finish. It mulches well, and creates enough air-flow to lift grass that’s been flattened by wheelings,” he adds.
Post-harvest, the flail covers a few miles on field boundaries throughout the 2000 acres farmed.
“We’ve around 100 fields and it’s two passes around each one to tidy-up,” he says. “So the next phase is to add a front-mounted model, so we can mow margins in one pass.”