Forage machinery firm Lely has unveiled a raft of equipment for the 2013-14 grass season, and says it remains dedicated to what it sees as more versatile tractor-powered implements, rather than entering the low-volume, high-cost self-propelled sector.

The company stresses, though, this doesn’t mean it isn’t focused on high-output equipment, and to illustrate the point at its international field days, held last month in Switzerland, it showed off a 100cu m forage wagon, new variable-chamber round balers and a revised line of big trailed mowers.

“Many large farms and contractors now have the tractor power to drive large machines, and those tractors can be used out of season for other tasks,” says Alexander van der Lely, the company’s chief executive.

“Although there is a market for self-propelled foragers and mowers, we think overall efficiency and flexibility for many farms still lies in tractors working with dedicated implements, and that in many cases outputs from such machinery can compete with those from self-propelled equipment.”

100cu m forage wagon

In terms of forage harvesting, that means Lely sticks with its focus on trailed harvesters and forage wagons. But while the Storm trailed forager – formerly the Mengele SH40N – remains unchanged for 2012/13, there are a number of revisions to its Tigo forage wagons.

The line-up is now topped by a triple-axle, 100cu m XR100D model, and there’s also a new 65cu m XR65, both with 2m pick-ups. The bigger machine is 1m shorter than comparable machines on the market, claims Lely, much of this due to a new hydraulic compression system, also used on the twin-axle XR65.

“Although there is a market for self-propelled foragers and mowers, we think overall efficiency and flexibility for many farms still lies in tractors working with dedicated implements, and that in many cases outputs from such machinery can compete with those from self-propelled equipment.”
Alexander van der Lely

Once the wagon is full, the pivoting bulkhead tilts forward hydraulically to compress the crop and create an additional 6cu m of space above the intake. Pressure is adjustable to enable operators to pack grass in tighter in dry conditions.

Mower-conditioners

Also new for next year is a pair of Splendimo trailed mower conditioners to replace the 320 and 321 models. The new Splendimo PC330 and 370 mower-conditioners have working widths of 3.25m and 3.65m, and are based around a new top-driven cutterbar, said to have been engineered specifically for heavy European grass crops.

The driveline incorporates larger gears and bearings, and shaft drives are now splined rather than hexagonal. Lely has also switched to oil lubrication rather than grease for the bed drive, while its Quick Switch obstacle safety system is integral to its modular cutterbars, which now have lower-profile disc hubs and new quick-fit 120mm knives.

Balers

There are a number of updates for Lely’s Welger variable chamber round balers, with the 5 series machines now headed by a 545 model. This is essentially an enhanced version of the 535, which remains in the range, and while both gain a new drawbar and gearbox and camless pickup, the 545 also benefits from new panelwork, greaseable bearings, and comes with Lely’s E-Link Pro ISOBUS controller, plus an optional bale shape indicator. There are 17- and 35-knife chopper options.