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ScotGrass 2019: Weapons of grass destruction show off their capabilities

Clear blue skies, 24 degree heat and a decent crop of grass set the perfect scene for this year’s ScotGrass event, where all the major manufacturers were out in force to show off their wares.

 

James Rickard runs through the highlights - pictures by John Eveson.


James   Rickard

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John Deere 9900 flagship forager

John Deere 9900 flagship forager

Taking centre stage on John Deere’s plot was the firm’s flagship 9900 self-propelled forager.

 

As before, the JD forager line-up consists of a range of narrow body and a range of wide body machines. To now differentiate between the two, the firm has designated the larger models the 9000 Series, along with new styling to give them a visual difference. Six models make up the new Series from 625 to 970hp.

 

One of the most substantial changes to the forager is the switch from Cummins engines, in the previous top two models, to the use of V12 Liebherr motors for the three largest new models.

 

Constant power is available from 1,400 to 1,800rpm, with peak torque achieved at 1,350rpm. Torque levels are significantly higher than its predecessor, offering a notable improved tolerance towards peak loads, says the manufacturer.

 

To increase throughput, speed of the chopping cylinder for the top three models has increased to 1,350rpm at rated speed, previously 1,200.

Krone BigM 450 self-propelled mower

Krone BigM 450 self-propelled mower

Following on from its static UK debut at Lamma, Krone’s latest BigM 450 self-propelled mower was knocking down the acres at ScotGrass.

 

Now the only model in the BigM range, the 449hp 450 replaces the old 420. Three mower beds are employed on the machine, giving an overall working width of 9.95m. Mechanical drive runs to all beds for efficiency, while steering front linkage and rear wheel steering avoids any misses between the front and rear mower beds when turning.

 

Rear hoods on the outer two mowers can be raised giving a full width spread of crop for wilting, or of conditions allow, the hoods can be closed and augers transfer crop to a central swath. This can also be done independently on either side of the mower, which would enable the ability to run up and down a field with one hood open and one hood closed, allowing a smaller rake to effectively grab 18m-worth of crop.

 

Up top is the new cab, as used on the firm’s narrow body foragers, and the machines come auto-steering ready.

 

Base retail price for the model is £370,000.

Bergmann Carex 390X forage wagon

Bergmann Carex 390X forage wagon

While its model name might sound like a bar of soap, Bergmann’s latest generation of high capacity forage wagons mean serious business.

 

Distributed in the UK by Continental Soil Technology, on show was the Carex 390X with a capacity of 39cu.m (actual volume). Features include a 2.05m-wide hydraulically driven pick-up, 41-blade knife bank, sloping steel floor and moving headboard.

 

In particular, the hydraulically-driven pick-up allows its speed to be better tailored to the crop conditions, while the moving headboard aids filling and emptying, and allows the dead space above the feed rotor and pick-up to be better utilised.

 

Various running gear options can be specified including rear steering axle, hydraulic flip over covers and rear beaters.

 

To maintain strength, rather than use low-loader, transport-friendly side extensions, the Carex’s side walls and uprights run the full height of the machine, says the manufacturer.

Kverneland zero grazing forage wagon

Kverneland zero grazing forage wagon

Designed to meet the growing demand for users who want to directly feed out freshly cut grass, Kverneland has looked ‘inwards’ to develop a solution for its forage wagons.

 

Rather than completely design a whole new system to dispense fresh grass down a feed passage from the back of its forage wagons, the firm has called upon the expertise of fellow Kverneland Group brand Siloking, famous for its diet feeders. This sees a tried and tested cross conveyor neatly adapted to fit the rear of a forage wagon.

 

To use, the conveyor simply slides out from underneath the rear of the wagon. The wagon’s tailgate is then partially opened, allowing crop to be discharged onto the cross conveyor and distributed to wither side of the wagon.

 

However, to work properly, the wagon needs to be specified with rear beaters to maintain an even flow of material. As such, the option is only available on Kverneland’s 10045 (45cu.m) and 10055 (55cu.m) RD models. But, the conveyor can be retro fitted to older RD models. When it comes time to just use it as a forage wagon, the conveyor can be slid back under the wagon.

 

Retail price of the conveyor option is £4,250.

Kuhn FBP 3135 combi-baler

Kuhn FBP 3135 combi-baler

Clever bale wrapping technology was a particular highlight on the Kuhn plot, in the form of its latest FBP 3135 combi-baler.

 

Equipped with optional film on film bale wrapping technology, whereby plastic is applied to the barrel of the bale instead of net, the French firm has come up with an alternative method compared to most manufacturer’s methods. Rather than use a special roll of film which is the full width of the bale, Kuhn’s version allows you to use a pair of standard wrapping rolls, loaded at the front of the machine where it is fed into the chamber.

 

As well as the advantage of only needing to buy one type of film roll, more bales can be wrapped in the chamber before the pair of rolls needs changing, says Kuhn – approximately 160 bales with three layers of wrap.

 

Once the barrel is wrapped in the chamber, conventional wrapping finishes off the bale. However, you can also specify the firm’s 3D wrapping system, designed to apply wrap more evenly around the bale. This sees it start by wrapping the barrel of the bale, before covering the ends. In addition, Kuhn’s IntelliWrap system also allows for odd number of wrap layers to be applied.

 

Base price for a FBP 3135 combi-baler is £82,000.

McHale Fusion 3 Plus combi-baler

McHale Fusion 3 Plus combi-baler

Further developing its film on film Fusion 3 Plus combi-baler, McHale has introduced several new options, not least the ability to weigh and measure bale moisture, and document jobs.

 

This allows an operator at the end of each job to print out in the cab a receipt with all vital job information including field name, operator name, time/date, time taken to do the job, average moisture, average weight, number of knives engaged and whether or not the bales have been wrapped. This data can also be saved and used at a later date for more accurate invoicing, says the manufacturer.

 

Bale weight information comes from a hydraulic sensor in the rear wrapping roller. This, says McHale, is more accurate than weigh cells for this type of machine due to the dynamic loads involved.

 

SIP Air Swath 500T trailed merger

SIP Air Swath 500T trailed merger

Complimenting it front mounted Air Swath 300F belt merger, SIP has now introduced a trailed machine to the UK. The 500T has a fixed working width of 5m, but features a swinging drawbar allowing to work either side of the tractor.

 

When working in combination with the front machine, up to 8m of crop can be lifted and transferred into a swath. And if you come back on yourself, you can put two lots of 8m-worth of crop into a large swath. Alternatively, if you offset the rear machine from the front enough, the machines can discharge towards each other, effectively creating a central swath between the two machines.

 

Both machines are hydraulically driven, with the rear machine getting its own pto-driven hydraulic system. The front machine can also be ‘plumbed’ into this, giving central control over both machines.

 

The 500T retails at £59,000, while the 300F comes in at £21,000.

Fendt Rotana combi-baler

Fendt Rotana combi-baler

ScotGrass was the first major public outing for Fendt’s latest combi-baler edition, the Rotana 160V. As the model number suggests, it is a variable chamber baler cable of producing bales from 0.9 to 1.6m in diameter.

 

Derived from the old Lely Tornado, it features a cam-less pick-up with five rows of tines and three knife configurations; 13, 17 or 25. It also gets a clever anti-blockage system which sees the front of the drop floor flex, allowing lumps to pass though the machine. Should a major blockage occur, the drop floor can completely lower.

 

At the rear it comes with mechanical tailgate locking, and the rear wrapping unit has also been updated to be more compact. Film storage extends to 14 spools, while film pre-stretching can be 55, 70 or 90 per cent. It can also be specified with a 540 or 1,000rpm gearbox.

Pottinger Novacat A10 Cross Flow triple mower

Pottinger Novacat A10 Cross Flow triple mower

Requiring no conditioner to work, unlike belt transfer versions, Pottinger’s new Cross Flow system as seen here on its A10 triple mowers is said to be suited to multi-cuts of high value forage crops and bulkier crops such as forage rye and whole crop.

 

Particularly for the latter, it means the following forager does not need to be fitted with a specific whole crop header and can just use its normal grass pick-up.

The Novacat A10 has an adjustable working width from 8.86-10m, with crop transferred to the middle via augers. If swathing of the crop is not required, doors behind the augers can be opened up, leaving grass spread over the full width of the mower.

 

Auger drive comes straight from a gearbox attached to the bed, transferred by four belts. In addition, the IsoBus-compatible mowers can be linked into the tractor’s steering sensor, which will automatically adjust a mower inwards on one side to prevent misses when turning.

Vicon Andex 1505 four rotor rake

Vicon Andex 1505 four rotor rake

Featuring triple mowers, four rotor rakes and trailed tedders, big was the theme of Vicon’s working plot.

 

Namely, its flagship rake was out to impress, the four rotor Andex 1505 with an adjustable working width from nine to 15 metres and a swath width adjustment from 1.4 to 2.5m. Working width is facilitated by hydraulically swinging rotor arms, rather than telescoping arms as many competitors use, which also allows a brake back mechanism to be incorporated into the arm’s hydraulics.

 

Fully IsoBus controlled, functions can be assigned to a tractor’s own joystick and buttons, if available, or Vicon’s on ‘grip’ lever, for more convenient control. In addition, a GeoRake version can be specified which, once the headlands have been done and mapped, the rake will then automatically lower the arms when it enters an un-worked area, and vice versa for worked area.

 

Retail price for the rake is £81,000.

Claas Disco Move front mower

Claas Disco Move front mower

Designed to improve ground contour following ability, Claas has extended its range of front mounted Disco disc mowers, with an additional model featuring an all new suspension system.

 

The Disco 3200 Move has a 3m cutting width and can be specified with (FC) or without (F) a steel tine conditioner. Unlike its previous ‘push type’ front mower designs which use the tractor’s front linkage to raise/lower the mower, the new design sees the front mower suspended via frame, giving 1,000mm of travel to the disc bed. This allows the front linkage to remain at a constant height, leaving the mower to ‘float’ over the surface, says Claas.

 

Up to 600mm of vertical travel and 400mm of downward travel is achievable. The mower unit is also able to pivot laterally from the central pivot point, by up to 30 degrees, and can swing backwards at a slight diagonal angle to avoid obstacles.

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