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The 26 HP Yanmar would handle the 72" in normal conditions, but the 50 HP Yanmar would handle it with style in any conditions. If you want to cut some tall thick grass, the 50 won't slow down in anything. The 50 HP has a turbo on it, so it may just be worth the extra bucks on a 72". I know a guy that has the twin 20 HP Kohlers on a 72" and he used a 72" with a 26 HP Yanmar and said there was quite a difference in the two. Try them both out in the worst conditions and normal conditions and you will see what I mean.
As Eric pointed out, if you are going to be cutting in some extreme conditions such as overgrown grass, then the 50Hp on a 72" would be worth the extra $$. The extra Hp will definitely keep the blade tip speed up in the heavy grass. I chatted one night with a guy who owns 2 of the 50 Hp DC's. He loves them for the speed he can cut at and the economy of the diesel over the twin Kohlers on the S'BURB'N TURB'N XXW4000.
In normal cutting conditions the 26Hp Yanmar should be able to handle the 72" deck OK. But if you feel that you may encounter tall grass on a regular basis, then go for the 50Hp model. I know the next DC I buy will be a diesel, for the power reserve of the diesel and for the economy.
Ed, I also talked to the same guy with the 2 50HP Yanmars. He said they go as fast as the XXW4000, but just has more power and uses lots less fuel. I also talked to another guy that has one of these machines. You should come to the Dixie Chopper Chat Room I have on my site and talk to other owners. Terry from Ky. has a XXW4000, the twin 20 Kohler set up and he mows at full speed on big lawns. He mows several large commercial lawns and he also has a 60" Flatlander which mows at 13 MPH. He says the XXW4000 is faster than the Flatlander. From what I've heard, the XXW5000 is as fast as the XXW4000 with power to spare.
We also have another member that has 2 of the XXW2600 models, the 72" with a 26 HP Yanmar and he is very satisfied with them. He mows sports fields with them and is from Maine. You are welcome to come join in our chat room anytime Ed.