Orchard and vineyard management and management of row crops and pastures all require intensive maintenance practices if you want to improve your yield. Mowing is an integral part of a variety of crop maintenance practices along with soil cultivation, keeping pests and diseases at bay and the like on farms where fruit, maize, sunflowers and other row crops such as beans and nuts are produced. Vineyards and cotton trees also require maintenance by regularly mowing the floor of the vineyard and plantation to get rid of weeds and grass that get out of control.
This improves the condition of the soil, heightens the chances of a strong yield and helps contain plant disease. In addition, some farmers in South Africa have started sideline businesses that also require mowing of lawns and sports turfs alongside their farming operations, all with the view of diversifying their farming operations and boosting their incomes.
Examples of diversifying for farmers can include building holiday cottages or wedding and conference facilities on their farms while other farmers have embarked on sideline gardening and landscaping services at venues like golf courses, municipal parks, sports grounds or nearby housing complexes.
This is when buying a rotary mower is potentially a worthwhile investment because it is used in both agricultural production and in gardening and landscaping.
Rotary cutter vs rotary mower
Farmers often ask whether it’s best to invest in a rotary cutter or a rotary mower. A rotary cutter is a mower attached to the back of a tractor which is used for a variety of cutting tasks including reclaiming overgrown bush, maintaining pastures, making use of cover crops and caring for lawn areas. Purchasing a rotary cutter is a great investment as it is a piece of essential farming equipment in South Africa.
Knowing which machine to choose depends on the type of maintenance which is required.
A rotary mower will work best if you need to cut grass and lawn regularly because you’re left with a cleaner and more manicured look than using rotary cutters as a result of the way the blades of the mower work and because of its varying speeds. A mower also covers more acreage, and faster, than rotary cutter blades.
While you won’t get that same clean, manicured finish when you use a rotary cutter, you can rest assured the cutter is a workhorse that will cut down almost anything that grows in its path. The blades are not rigidly attached to the spindle but are attached to hinges so that they pivot when they make contact with a hard object such as a rock.
Rotary cutters are mostly used in the tending and maintenance of row crops, pastures, orchards and vineyards while rotary mowers serve a dual purpose in farming as well as in gardening and landscaping. Unlike rotary cutters that are not suitable for lawns, tractor-drawn rotary mowers can be used to cut lawns and greens. In orchards and vineyards, rotary mowers with their open construction fiercely scatter the grass once it’s cut.
Trimming equipment for fruit trees in orchards and gardens and for vines on wine farms is essential. Once more, you have to invest in the right trimming and pruning equipment and do a cost analysis if you want to properly maintain your farm operations and increase yields.
Trees and vineyards benefit in many ways from trimming and pruning including experiencing healthy growth, developing strong root systems, requiring less water and nutrients and most importantly, pruning and trimming facilitates mechanised harvesting in vineyards and orchards. Pruning and trimming are further crop maintenance practices along with irrigation and the eradication of standing water that are key to successful crop cultivation.