Clearing land is a task that every farmer is familiar with. Clear ground is tidier, easier to till and above all safer.
The best machine for clearing or tending smaller green spaces is a brushcutter, but they can be very tiring to use when working on particularly large or cluttered areas. For these jobs there are specific tools that will make your life easier: flail mowers.
Flail mowers (also known as grass shredders, stem shredders or stalk choppers depending on what is being cut) are tools for clearing ground using a roller with tilting blades that cut and shred grass, small shrubs, fallen branches and brambles. They are machines designed for agriculture rather than for gardening: their shredding ability is offset by their less precise, rougher cut compared with a brushcutter.
Types of flail mower
Two types of flail mower are available on the market: either standalone (self-propelled) or as an implement for attaching to a two wheel tractor. Self-propelled flail mowers are equipped with their own engine and are better suited to working on rough, steeply sloping ground or terrain with numerous depressions, where a two wheel tractor with flail mower implement could only proceed very slowly and with difficulty. By contrast, flail mower implements are ideal on level ground. However, it should be borne in mind that a flail mower implement puts a certain amount of strain on the two wheel tractor that tows it, and particularly the clutch, so the two wheel tractor ideally needs a robust clutch and a flail mower that is not oversized.
The great advantage of a flail mower is that it can cut, crush and pulverise branches or tall grass, thereby helping to start the soil decomposition and enrichment process; this is something that a brushcutter is unable to do. The cutting action of a brushcutter with conventional head and cutting line creates a layer similar to mulch, which suffocates everything that the soil can provide.
In the case of a vineyard, instead of cutting grass and either leaving the clippings on the ground or removing them for storage in a container, it is better to pulverise them with the shredding roller. Vegetation on the ground will be transformed into organic matter much faster.
In conclusion, flail mowers are a useful agricultural tool when you need to work on particularly large and uncultivated areas of land.