The NEC halls were awash with the latest models of all things forage harvesting, as well as feeding and bedding distributors. Jane Carley, Geoff Ashcroft and Alex Heath report from under the bright lights of the NEC halls. Pictures by Marcello Garbagnoli and John Eveson.
Among the weapons of grass destruction on the Krone stand was a trio of choppers comprising BigX 770, 480 and 780 models, boasting a collective output in excess of 2,000hp.
Krone’s latest X-Collect maize header now features integral guards, which avoids the need to remove – and often lose them - under a hedge. Having guards designed into the header enables automatic repositioning of guards to protect other road users, when the header is folded for transport.
McHale has updated its V6 belt baler with the option of a single belt, said to track better and prevent crop losses. Non-chopping, 15 and 25 knife versions are available, now with hydraulic net tensioning and a choice of cam or low maintenance cam-less pick-up.
A new model has also been added to the Fusion combi-wrapper range, with the Fusion 3 Plus offering bale density and net adjustment from the cab, along with camera feed from the bale transfer and unloading areas to the terminal and IsoBus control. A neat loading device helps to swing net rolls from the ground onto the platform which then becomes part of its guard rail.
An extra 25hp comes from Fendt’s new 650hp MTU Stage 5 Katana forager, along with new reversing fan for improved cooling. Crop flow has been improved, thanks to a new corn cracker and spout surface area has also been increased, along with greater under spout clearance.
Constant knife sharpening throughout the stroke also gives more even sharpening and extends life, adds the manufacturer. A new NIR sensor from ITPhotonics can now be specified, and is removable for use at the clamp.
To increase traction, the forager’s new Balance Grip drive system ensures positive grip on side slopes or when climbing by increasing drive to the individual or pairs of wheels as required.
Kuhn’s new SB baler range was represented by the 1290id high density baler which uses a patented twin plunger system to increase bale density while cutting peak loads on the baler and reducing power requirement.
Designed and built by Kuhn and aimed at the power station market, the 1290id produces bales with a 120 by 90cm section with weights of 520 to 530kg recorded in field tests, and can run on a 220-230hp tractor.
Also on the baling front, the manufacturer now offers a universal coupling for its round balers and trailed wrappers which can be factory installed or retrofitted. It is also compatible with third party units to make up a more versatile combination than a dedicated combi-unit.
Krone’s Comprima CF155 XC Plus has been given a range of upgrades to improve performance and productivity.
Faster wrapping comes from increasing the wrapper speed from 32 to 36rpm, shaving six seconds off the time to apply six layers of film to a bale. For enhanced safety, the wrapper speed is linked to a wheel sensor, which slows the wrapper to 32rpm, when stationary wrapping.
Load-sensing hydraulics now replace the previous model’s on-board hydraulic system, faster bale transfer is now possible, and an auto-lube system replaces banked grease nipples.
Reflecting the company’s move to higher output machines, Malone Engineering introduced the three metre 3000 MP plain cut mounted mower, with hydraulic over spring suspension, road lighting and parking tripod as standard.
Individual unit shear hub protection cuts downtime in the event of hitting a foreign object, says the manufacturer. The plain mower design is also popular for hay or for use as a topper, suggests Malone, and a front mower to accompany the 3000 MP is also in development.
With demand coming from robot feeding dairy herds, Albutt has adapted its Shear King range of high capacity shear grabs to eject blocks of silage.
To maintain a solid block and thus feed value, the company has fitted a parallel pushing system that uses a sequential valve, activated once the grab has fully opened. The company is to start manufacturing its grabs with the necessary fixing points for this so that retro fitting at a later date is possible. The Shear King Ejector costs about £10,000.
The 39.3 CL is Kuhn’s first triple auger feeder wagon to be offered in the UK, and features a patented continuously variable transmission designed to manage peak torque loads.
With a full 39cu.m load, the augers slow to minimise power requirement, and as the tub empties, speed up to ease unloading.
Power requirement is also reduced, minimising the need for a dedicated feeding tractor – Kuhn suggests that it can be handled by about 105hp.
The perennial problem for contractors of not having enough bale or net wrap could be solved with the neat looking front mounted Wrap Master from Grizzly.
Available with capacity for 10, 14 or 18 rolls of film, plus space for two rolls of netting, the unit tips forwards to allow for easy loading and unloading. Rolls are held in place by 70mm diameter seamless tubes. A variety of lighting options and colour schemes are available, as is a crop roller underneath. Prices are from £1,400
Following a two-week evaluation period in the UK last summer, Krone believes the time is right for the market to embrace its Premos pellet harvester.
The machine offers adjustable density to suit a range of pelleted straw products, and has been operating in the swath with an output of five tonnes/hour. However, the firm reckons the biggest productivity gains are likely to come from static bale processing, where the Premos is up to five times more productive than conventional crop pelleting systems, says the manufacturer.
A new pivoting pull-type headstock on the new 3.1m cut Fendt Slicer front mower gives fore and aft as well as lateral/vertical movement. It can also pivot 13 degrees from side to side and the modular build does not need an a-frame for attachment to the tractor.
Drive to the discs is via oil-immersed spur gears for increased durability, and the FQ KC model shown is fitted with a tine conditioner; hydraulic side shift and hydraulic folding covers are options.
Fendt has also reintroduced the Lotus tedder from its Lely acquisition. With the six rotor 770, eight rotor 1020 and 10 rotor 1020 models, the Lotus range features hook tines and maintenance free universal joints.