Chad Carpenter is 31 years old and just bought his first KUHN product this spring, a KUHN FC 3560 TLD side-pull disc mower conditioner, an exciting milestone in this young farmer’s life.
“I’ve only been farming two years,” says Carpenter, a Boonville, N.Y. native.
He rents his uncle’s barn to milk 50 cows and grows a variety of crops on 200 tillable acres, which he leases from his father, John, and other family members.
Eventually, he will relocate the entire operation to his parents’ property, where he is planning to build a freestall barn in the spring of 2015.
A little more than 12 years ago, a fire burned the homestead’s main barn and Carpenter said his dad decided not to rebuild. He lived out of state at the time, but now has moved home and is following in his family’s footsteps.
“I get to start from scratch, that is the way I’m looking at it,” Carpenter remarks. “None of my brothers wanted the farm at the time, but dad kept the land and it is there for me now.”
Carpenter says he likes the quality craftsmanship and durability of the KUHN FC 3560 TLD since he does all his own mowing, He made three cuttings for a total of 350 acres on the machine this year alone.
“I had a mower, but wanted a more reliable one and after testing a couple I went with KUHN because they are well-built,” he explains. “The old mower will be used in old pasture land, and the shiny, new one in the farm’s prime fields.”
Carpenter does his own baling. The mower has been useful for that too, as he can windrow the crop to a 4-foot windrow and round bale it himself.
For chopping, he hires a custom operator who merges three windrows and then chops the mowed hay. The KUHN FC 3560 TLD boasts a consistent drydown through the DigiDry conditioner and the broadest range of windrow widths from 3’ – 8’8”, which has been nice for harvesting on Carpenter’s rented acres.
The two-speed gearbox is his favorite feature of the mower conditioner. He says it’s a fairly new amenity for a side-pull and really helps control the speed of the fingers.
“It's as aggressive as you want it to be or as gentle as you want it to be,” Carpenter says of the mower’s gearbox. “The all-around control with the mower is a nice thing. It has a lot of adjustment points on it. I can either windrow it or leave the crop full width.”
Another feature he appreciates is the Gyrodine® hitch, which he says “allows you to turn on a dime.” Carpenter says the hydraulics are responsive, the mower has a very light footprint in regard to all-around weight of the machine, only 4,300 pounds.
He also sees the benefit of the light head pressure, when it comes to rocks and other objects he does not want to hit with the new mower.
He says that time will tell, but in the first season, it’s proven to be a great investment. The only maintenance necessary has been greasing. Carpenter says the warranty has not even needed to be dusted off.
He purchased his KUHN FC 3560 TLD from White’s Farm Supply in Lowville, N.Y. As a new farmer, Carpenter said it’s the first time he bought a piece of equipment and also took home a new tractor that day in May.
“It made my summer a little more fun,” he jokes.
His relationship with the dealer is professional and respectful. Carpenter feels that overall, the mower itself and buying experience of a KUHN product has been top-rate.
Farmers talk, and Carpenter says a couple local farmers have asked if he liked his new KUHN FC 3560 TLD. His response, “Let KUHN put your groceries up for you.” He said it’s a tagline to represent the farmer’s mission of feeding America, and one he is proud to carry forward.