Following static launches at the likes of LAMMA and Agritechnica, this week’s ScotGrass event was the first opportunity in the UK to see working demonstrations of the latest grassland equipment. James Rickard reports. Pictures by Marcello Garbagnoli.
Sharing the same frame as its more powerful bigger brother, the Katana 85, the generation-two 65 has done away with its Mercedes V8 and replaced it with an in-line six-cylinder, 15.6-litre, MTU motor.
Meeting Stage 4 emissions levels, it actually produces less power – 625hp from 653hp - than the previous engine, but has a higher torque reserve, says the manufacturer. In addition to more efficient cooling, the overall efficiency of the forager has increased, says the manufacturer, with more power sent to the chopping cylinder.
To reduce soil compaction and still remain within transport limits, users can now fit taller tyres including 710/70 R42 and 900/70 R42s.
There is now the choice of two internal tank configurations; a 1,225l diesel tank with a 205l AdBlue tank, or a 1,010l diesel tank with a 205l AdBlue tank and a 215l water/additive tank.
The NIR sensor is built into the side panel of the forage wagon and enables the measurement of dry matter and protein levels within the grass – measurement of other constituents are being developed. In tandem with a weigh cell system, it affords a better understanding of what is in people’s silage, and the quantity of silage in the clamp, says the manufacturer.
Readings are said to be accurate to within 1.5 per cent of lab analysis results. As a consequence, farmers can better plan rations and what fertilisers to use.
As well as benefits to farmers, contractors are also reportedly using the read-outs of the system for billing purposes. Data from the NIR sensor can be transferred via USB stick or uploaded to a web-based server (the cloud).
The firm is also looking to use the system in conjunction with GPS to provide a yield map of the field.
NIR analysis system and weigh cells adds about £19,000 (25,000 Euros) to the price of a forage wagon. Unfortunately, system cannot be retro fitted to older machines.
Replacing the 445, it can produce bales from 1-1.67m in diameter. Options include 13, 17 or 25 knife chopping units. A 17 knife machine can be used with either 0, 8, 9 or all 17 knives engaged, while a 25 knife machine can be used with 0, 12, 13 or 25 knives.
The four-belt machine uses a cam-less pick-up for faster pick-up speeds and less maintenance, and can be specified with a drop floor to clear blockages.
A new dog clutch is used to protect the drive line and a movable front roller has been developed to prevent chaff build up.
The baler is available now retailing at £37,260 specified with 2.4m pick-up, braked axle and 17 knife chopping unit.
Also, expect the baler to be eventually used in the tornado combi-baler.
With nothing carried over from the previous generation mowers, the 3.1m cutter bar on the front unit features larger diameter discs, a heavier duty bed which is now sealed for life, and a new, cast steel frame.
All this enables the mower to cope with more power, heavier crop conditions and higher forward speeds, says Deere.
Other features include plastic end guards which can flex under impact, and a two-speed, lever-selectable conditioner gearbox affording speeds of 750 and 1,000rpm speeds.
Up-top, a new suspension system affords greater oscillation in all directions, affording better ground contour following, says the manufacturer.
At the rear, the 9.5m-wide cutting unit features the same beds as the front mower, along with newly-designed steel conditioning tines.
Rather than the old-style side shift system, the rear mowers now hydraulically telescope in and out to adjust overall cutting width and overlap with the front mower.
A new hydro-pneumatic suspension system can be adjusted to match field and crop conditions, and hydraulic latching negates the need for ropes and mechanically-operated locks.
Designed to compete with a twin satellite round bale wrapper as a fast wrapping affordable alternative, Vicon has come up with a twin-film dispensing system for its range of trailed, turn-table wrappers.
In addition, the firm has also developed a system which automatically regulates table speed depending on the balance of the bale. Rather than the operator manually controlling speed, High Speed Pack-equipped machine take information from a gyroscope to determine how stable the bale is.
The whole of the wrapping sequence can be automated, with the operator able to pause the sequence at any time.
If single film wrapping is required, a lever at the rear of the machine can be used to alter table speed.
With Twin Film kit and High Speed Pack specified, the 2600 trailed model retails at £15,500.
Using a vertical twin satellite system, the trailed machine swings out to one side using a hydraulic drawbar and loads from the front of the machine. A big advantage of this is that the wrapper can follow in-line with the baler, rather than having to weave around the field to pick up bales, says the manufacturer. And because the bale is wrapped via satellites and does not have to rotate on a table, stability is also improved.
Fully automated, the wrapper can handle bales from 1-1.48m in diameter, and has the ability to wrap with one roll.
Following interest from customers who want to cut lots of grass cheaply, Kverneland has introduced two new triple mowing models; the 5087 with 8.7m of cutting width and the 5095 with 9.5m (as demonstrated).
Importantly, both are plain disc machines with no power-sapping conditioner, which allows the 5095 to be used with tractors as small as 125hp, says the manufacturer. The firm adds that one triple mowing unit can knock down up to 120 hectares (300 acres) per day, in the right fields, and use about 30-40 per cent less fuel compared to a mower-conditioner unit.
Kverneland says a lot of people are liking the fact that unconditioned grass is more weather proof than conditioned grass and can cope with a shower of rain better - tedding is then done to condition the grass when the weather is right.
The new mowers are available now with prices TBC.
As well as being able to apply conventional net binding, i-Bio+ can be also be fitted with the firm’s film-on-film bale binding and wrapping system. The binding system uses two film reels to bind the cylindrical side of the bale and offers several advantages compared to other film binding systems, claims the firm. Not least is the ability to use standard size film rolls (750mm wide), therefore eliminating the need to order separate binding and wrapping film.
Control of bale wrapping is taken care of by the manufacturer’s IntelliWrap system, allowing the operator to select the number of film layers and adjust film overlap.
i-Bio+ is IsoBus compatible, with all functions managed via a single, full-colour display terminal. At less than 3,700kg, machine weight is also relatively light, says Kuhn, and its compact design makes it well-suited for use on hilly terrain and within small field systems.
The baler is available now, retailing at £54,377.
Comprising three models in the range, compressed volume capacities range from 55cu.m to 65cu.m.
Over the previous generation, all three models are larger and feature a drive line rated up to 300hp.
A 2m-wide pick-up is also an addition as is the use of 45 knives, up from 39. This affords a theoretical chop length of 34mm.
The front part of the wagon floor now tapers downwards towards the chopping rotor, aiding filling, and double-edged knives are an option, as is the firm’s Autocut automatic sharpening system.
All machines are an open top design allowing them to be used as transport trailers.
Available now, the mid-sized 6010 retails from £82,233.
With three mounted machines and one trailed, the new models are designated as the 2750 with 2.6m cutting width, the 3150 as demonstrated with a 3m cutting width, and the 3550 with a 3.4m cutting width and is available either as a mounted or trailed machine.
All models can be specified as either plain cut or conditioner machines, with the conditioning unit using steel tines. For increased adjustment of conditioning, a new conditioning hood is also a feature.
All models are available now.
Opico will be offering all models from the range, from the smallest 23cu.m Zelon model, up to the largest Terra Vitesse 50cu.m machine (actual volumes).
There has been no changes to the products since Reco brought them in, however, expect some updates to come in autumn, says Opico. These will include pick-up reel updates to older machines, along with improvements to boost versatility such as open top designs, allowing the wagons to be used as transport trailers.
The importer says the forage wagon market is tough this year, but adds long term the market is growing due to the cost effectiveness of the forage wagon silaging concept.
Most of the updates are in the cab department which sees many design cues adopted from the firm’s Fastrac 4000 series, including its steering column and dash.
Visibility, particularly down to the front wheels, is now improved by the removal of bars which once took up space across the front windscreen. Switches which were incorporated into these bars are now gone in favour of buttons positioned the length of the right-hand A-pillar.
Also positioned at the top of the pillar is an optional screen through which a reversing camera can be viewed, performance can be monitored, hydraulic flow rates adjusted, boom suspension settings altered, adjustment to timing intervals to reverse the radiator fan made, as well as many others.
Other new features include a joystick which moves with the seat for increased operator comfort, an armchair-like ventilated seat and an optional cool box.
Externally, it gets a 360 degree LED lighting package, a single one-piece bonnet which electrically opens, and a 15 tonne capacity tow hitch.
Most importantly, the chrome stack is back.