For those visiting last week’s Grassland UK event there was no shortage of new kit to ponder over. James Rickard and Geoff Ashcroft seek out the latest developments. Pictures by Marcello Garbagnoli.
Getting its first outing at a UK demonstration event was Fendt’s new flagship self propelled forager, the Katana 85.
Complimenting the Katana 65, the 85, as the model number suggests, is a more powerful version at 850hp. Power comes from a 21-litre, V12, MTU engine, and for that, the rear portion of the chassis has been made larger to accommodate it.
It also comes with either a 1,250-litre diesel tank and a 200-litre additive tank, or it can be specified so that the tanks can be combined to offer a 1,400-litre diesel capacity.
Up-front, all crop processing elements are the same as the smaller 65, however, more power means it can now cope with a 12-row maize header.
Rough retail price is £385,000.
Fendt also has plans afoot to offer a full line up of harvesting equipment and is highly likely to show larger foragers, with power ratings into four figures, at this year’s Agritechnica event.
Showing off a brace of new round bale wrappers at the event was Tanco with its Variwrap and Autowrap machines.
Based around a modular design, the wrappers can be customised so that they can be mounted on a tractor’s linkage, on a loader or adapted for towing. Between the two main variants, they can also be specced with one, two or three satellite wrapping arms – the latter offering very rapid wrapping times.
Each machine features the firm’s latest film cut and hold system which opens up to the full width of the roll. For opening and closing its rams are powered by accumulators which are charged during machine operation.
Control is fully automated, with Variwrap controllers showing every machine action on screen.
Retail price for the top spec, three satellite Variwrap machine is about £20,000.
Completing its bale handling attachment line-up, loader manufacturer Alo, demonstrated its latest ‘top grip’ bale squeezer.
Suitable for round or square bales its squeezing arm is pin adjustable, allowing it to accommodate any size of bale.
To avoid the squeezing arm dragging wrap off the bale when it opens, the action of the arm sees it release the bale first before the arm raises above the bale, rather than just lifting up in an arc.
The squeezer is available with virtually any type of loader brackets, which are simply bolted to the attachment.
Retail price is £1,200.
Although not at the event, Kverneland had news of a new, smaller additional forage wagon to its line-up.
Very similar to the one at work (pictured), the new 10040 R has a compressed capacity of 40cu.m and features a cleverly designed feed rotor which allows each ring of tines to be fitted and removed in three sections.
This makes replacement easy, says the manufacturer, should a tine get damaged or broken.
To distribute crop evenly across the full width of the wagon, tines on the feed rotor are also arranged in a V formation which forces material outwards from the central peak of the swath. In addition, its cam-less pick-up measures 1.95m from outer tine to outer tine.
Tandem axles are standard with the option of specifying the rear axle with steering.
Retail price for the new baby model is about £60,000.
Focussing on increased durability and easier maintenance, John Deere has updated its range of large square balers for 2015 with the introduction of the L1500 Series.
While the current 1424 large square baler, which produces 700mm by 1,200mm bales, will remain the same, the 1433 and 1434 will be replaced by the L1533 (800mm by 900mm) and L1534 (900mm by 1,200mm).
Following the trend of other manufacturers, double tie knotters are a new feature which are designed to reduce the load on the knots, allowing denser bales to be made, says the manufacturer. In addition, two high capacity turbo blowers, originally designed for the firm’s combine harvesters, provide strong airflow to clean the knotters.
On the pickup reel, painted tine bands have now been replaced by galvanised versions, said to offer increased longevity.
Replacing the 784 twin rotor rake in the long term, Vicon showed its new 804 Andex rake, with hydraulic width adjustment from seven to eight meters.
Now featuring a 20 per cent stronger main frame, it also gets fixed, non-removable tines, apart from four tines on each rotor should transport height or storage restrictions be an issue. However, with all the tines in-place, transport height is still under four meters at 3.95m.
Overall width of the frame has been narrowed too, to accommodate larger floatation-type tyres.
Retail price is £21,304.
Available in three or 3.5m widths, importer Reco showed of a new mounted rear mower.
The additional machine to the range can be specified as plain cut or with a tine or roller conditioner (the 3.5m machine cannot be specified with a roller conditioner).
Depending on model, it gets six or seven large diameter discs which are made of a hard wearing metal and feature Fella’s Drive Guard, shear-plate protection system.
A hydro-pneumatic floatation system allows on-the-move adjustment to match conditions, and the cutter bed features a guide to avoid that ‘whipping’ action you can get as the load changes. For transport it folds to the rear.
Retail price for the 3m machine is £17,500.
Importer AMIA used the event to show its new range of tedders. Offering two, four and six rotor machines, the tedders are available in working widths from 3.1m to 7.45m.
Drive runs through a substantial-looking box frame and the machines feature a sprung-loaded pivoting headstock.
All models are available as trailed or mounted versions and require a single hydraulic service for folding.
Retail price for a four-rotor, 5.2m working width machine is £4,995.
Slotting in the middle of its X4 Series, McCormick launched a new model, which by using stock-piled Perkins Stage 3a-compliant engines, allows the firm to offer the tractor at a more ‘cost-sensitive’ price. However, this is only for a limited period - until the end of 2015.
The 75hp X4.35C tractor is available as four or two wheel drive, with the latter said to be an ideal solution for yard work. Critically for traditional farm buildings, it is only 2.5m tall.
Its 30kph, 16 by 16 speed transmission can be specified with a power or mechanical shuttle. If specified with power shuttle, you also get a de-clutch button on the main gear lever and the ability alter the shuttle aggressiveness via a dial.
A two wheel drive version retails at £27,688.
Users of the Harvest Tec moisture monitoring and automatic and manual additive applicator system, marketed in the UK by the Profitable Farming Company (PFC), will now be able to use their applicator systems to apply acid-derived silage additive to round and large square baled silage.
Until now, the Harvest Tec system has only been approved for use with Baler’s Choice buffered propionic acid for use on hay and straw. However, approval has now been extended for the application of the new ProMyr Silage Plus, recently introduced to the UK by the Swedish-based manufacturer, Perstorp.
Being gaseous forming, Silage Plus is said to be suited for use with baled silage, as the gas will permeate through the bale, effectively killing bacteria and preventing the formation of mycotoxins and any other unwanted fermentation products.
As for the hardware, a central component of the Harvest Tec system is its ability to monitor both the throughput and the moisture content of the bale (up to 72 per cent), to an accuracy of 1 per cent. Alternatively, the electronic manual system offers a cost effective solution to those who primarily bale only wrapped products, says the manufacturer.
Noble Machinery finally got to put its Lacotec reverse drive forage harvester through its paces at Grassland, equipped with an all-new grass pickup.
The 3m pickup boats a cam-less design, and is equipped with a triple roller for its crop press. While this version was mechanically driven, importer Noble Machinery says a hydraulically driven pickup will soon be available.
The LHII is said to be capable of handling up to 500hp, and is claimed to be capable of matching the output of smaller self-propelled foragers. Its specification includes integral corn cracker rollers, metal detector, auto knife sharpening and shearbar setting with knock sensors, auto lubrication and IsoBus controls.
The LHII is priced from £80,000.
Malone Farm Machinery from County Mayo used Grassland to show its smallest forage wagon – the MT-35, offering a 35 cubic metre capacity.
Equipped with a 2m pickup, the MT-35 offers a 40mm chop length from its 35 knife chopping system. Additional features include a mechanically locked rear door, four bed chains, five-tine bar pickup and 560/45 R22.2 tyres.
Said to contain large machine features in a compact package, the £41,000 MT-35 is aimed at 100-cow herds, making 100-120 acres per cut.
County Carlow-based Future Grass Technology used Grassland to show its GT120 zero grazing system.
The machine uses an Italian-built 2.1m Galfrey twin drum mower to cut grass and feed it into a transport elevator, which pushes the crop upwards into the body of the machine. When full, the load is ejected using the zero grazer’s moving floor conveyor.
Capable of carrying around six and a half tonnes of grass, the GT120 requires a tractor of 105hp and costs from £27,000.
A new version of the Pottinger’s Novacat X8 triple mower was demonstrated at Grassland. Available in reverse drive format and front/rear combination, the Novacat X8 gets Power Control – an IsoBus compatible in-cab control system to simplify operation of triple mower systems.
Lift and lower of all three units is now a single button press, with sequenced lifting of front and rear units determined by either time or distance.
Merlo’s latest Turbo Farmer TF42.7 was put through its pace on the clamp. The TF42.7 offers a 4.2 tonne lift capacity and a maximum lift height of 7m.
Power comes from a 156hp Deutz turbocharged diesel engine – a 122hp version is available – with power going to all four wheels through a CVT-Tronic two-speed hydrostatic transmission with auto-shifting function and 40kph road speed.
Merlo says the throttle pedal operates as a travel pedal, to allow the engine and hydrostatic transmission to work more efficiently together.
Kuhn’s latest twin rotor rake has foregone any form of chassis, in favour of being three-point linkage mounted. The idea says Kuhn, is to create a compact and manoeuvrable raking package that can still achieve a reasonable working width.
Called the GA6501P, the rake offers an adjustable working width – achieved by mechanical crank handle – that extends from 5.55 to 6.4m, delivering a swath measuring from 2-4m wide.
The rake’s two rotors fold vertically for transport, and offer a low overall height from the ability to lower the tractor’s link arms. Expect the GA6501P to cost from £13,940.
MF’s 9305 Xtra telehandler was introduced at the event, but unfortunately was not shown working at the clamp.
With a compact design and low cab format – the MF9305 measures 2.1m wide, and 2.1m high on 20in wheels –this latest version could be well-suited to traditional farm buildings, for feeding or mucking out.
Where height is less of a concern, the 9305 is available with a higher cab and 24in wheels. Both versions offer a lift capacity of 3,000kg and maximum lift height of 5.8m.
Powered comes from a Deutz 3.6 Tier 4i engine developing 100hp, and driving a two-range hydrostatic transmission offering a 40kph road speed.
Pasture rejuvenation systems from Twose include this three-leg grassland subsoiler, equipped with an aerator and combined with a Stocks Micro-Meter seeder for the distribution of clover.
Discs ahead of the subsoiler legs are said to offer a clean opening, with the seeder’s outlets placed inline with each subsoiler leg. The firm’s Tim Coleridge said the combination lifts, firms then aerates grassland to encourage growth. The outfit is priced from £5,300 and can be used with tractors from 80-150hp.
Pottinger’s replacement for the Europrofi forage wagon range is the Europrofi Combiline. Comprising the 45-10, 50-10 and 55-10 models, capacities are 45, 50 and 55 cubic metres respectively.
With logistics in mind, Pottinger says all three have been designed as combi-wagons and can be used as forage trailers.
In forage wagon mode, the range delivers a 39mm chop length, and a hydraulically operated knife lock system allows the operator to swap blades mid-way through the day, making full use of the double knife, twin blade design.
Loaded with options, including 710/35 R22.5 tyres, LED lighting and a support roller behind the pickup to suit soft field conditions, this 50-10 is priced from £70,929.
JCB’s latest Farm Master loader, the 418S has been introduced to replace the 414S and 416S models.
With 173hp, the 10-tonne 418S offers 5 per cent more power than the models it replaces.
Along with more power, a lock-up torque converter to improve handling and loading output, and a new chassis, JCB claims this latest model offers improved clamp climbing ability, while a road speed of up to 48kph delivers better fuel efficiency with reduced travel times when moving from farm to farm.