German forager maker Krone has launched a trio of choppers to plug the gaps in its existing six-model forage harvester range.

The company currently accounts for around 15% of the 3,000-a-year world market, but has ambitious plans to double that by bulking out its range of small- and mid-sized foragers.

Until now the company has had only one machine in each 100hp segment from 400hp up to the Big X 1100. But the company now has a total of nine, with the addition of the Big X 530, 630 and 770.

See also: Photos: Farmer reviews 850hp Fendt Katana 85 forager

What’s new?

All of the updated foragers will come with a redesigned cutterhead. Drums still carry 20, 28 or 36 knives, but they are mounted differently to reduce the wear on the drum and increase the carrying capacity of each knife section. An eccentric bolt adjusts their position in relation to the shearbar, which simplifies things.

There’s also a new corn cracker specifically designed for long-chop maize. The existing 123-tooth conditioner handles 10-20mm chop lengths, but the new 105-tooth arrangement can handle material well beyond 20mm in size.

A new quick-drop system has made the switch from maize harvesting to grass easier, too. Once the tail end of the forager has been jacked up on the independent suspension, the driver can pump a pair of manually operated hydraulic cylinders to lower the corn cracker on to jockey wheels before it is rolled out of the way.

Crop flow

Krone has also come up with a nifty way of adjusting crop throw using a hinged flap behind the crop accelerator. For material that needs to be propelled shorter distances – when the trailer is travelling alongside the forager, for instance – the flap remains tight against the rear wall, reducing the quantity of material pushed against the accelerator.

This trims fuel use and saps less power than crops that need to be launched into a following trailer when opening up a field, which angles the flap to push more crop against the accelerator.

BigX 580 and 630 models also get a system that allows the operators to adjust engine outputs to suit the conditions. Economy mode is designed to reduce fuel consumption in less power-demanding grass crops, while full power can still be used for energy-sapping maize crops.

The Big X 770 gets a few extra tweaks, including new guards for the wing mirrors, a bigger 10in terminal and 50% more capacity in the central lubrication system. The 12-row spout extension also now folds for a shorter transport length and there’s a cutterhead brake fitted as standard.

The Big X line-up

Model Engine Power
480 Mercedes 12.8-litre 6-cyl 490hp
530 (new) Mercedes 12.8-litre 6-cyl 530hp
580 Mercedes 15.6-litre 6-cyl 585hp
630 (new) Mercedes 15.6-litre 6-cyl 626hp
600 MAN 16,2-litre V8 624hp
700 MAN 16,2-litre V8 707hp
770 (new) MAN 16,2-litre V8 753hp
850 MAN 24,2-litre V12 850hp
1100 MAN 24,2-litre V12 1,100hp