Mower conditioners are attachments for tractors built to make harvesting and drying crops easier. This is thanks to their dual purpose of mowing a crop and conditioning it at the same time. First made by Haybine in 1964, mower conditioners are ideal for for either hay or foraging applications, and are mainly used for mowing and drying crop to ready it for livestock consumption.

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The mower conditioner works by causing the newly cut stalks to split, allowing the liquid trapped inside (sap) to leak out and evaporate. Once dried, the resulting hay is baled up, ready for sale or to feed livestock. The benefits to doing this is for farmers in areas where there isn't much rainfall, including droughts or dry spells, so livestock still have a food supply.

For foraging purposes, mower conditioners are ideal for opening the stalks to evaporate the sap and water faster. This helps to reduce loss of starch and sugars within the stalks, which means a more nutrient-dense feed for cattle and other farm stock

The two main types of mower-conditioners are rollers and flails. They are both tuned to be more effective in certain areas depending on what material is present, though they can perform all conditioning tasks.

The rollers are better suited to foraging, specifically those made with a rubber material. Steel rollers are long lasting and can tackle thicker crops. When conditioning, rollers do so by mashing and exposing the pith to the environment so it can dry faster.

When harvesting, flails are more efficient. Due to their design of dozens of small blades that rotate vertically, the mower conditioner gets less clogged by large amounts of material. Something to keep in mind though, is its many parts which may require more maintenance. The flail, when conditioning, strips the wax off the stalk to expose its sap and dry it out.

Mower-conditioners are a great option if you're looking to optimise the efficiency of your farm, or create hay or livestock feed faster.