Vicon’s balers have seen a quite a bit of change over the last few years. They used to be made at its Geldrop factory in the Netherlands, but parent company Kverneland Group sold that to Kuhn in 2010. Two years later it took over Italian baler and wrapper maker Gallignani in 2012 and established its own baler factory at Ravenna, Italy.

British farmers like their round balers and buy about 1,200 machines a year. Vicon UK’s general manager David Furber says there is growing interest in variable chamber balers, especially among buyers who have previously used them for straw but are looking for increased versatility.

“Two-thirds of our variable-chamber balers are now specified with pre-cutters, allowing customers such as beef farmers to bale their own silage as well as straw, or offer a contracting service, with a single machine,” he explains.

What’s changed?

The RV5200 series variable chamber round baler replaces the RV4216 and RV4220 balers and is fitted with a new PowerBind net system, designed to maintain net tension at all times and give consistent net injection.

At 90% of the finished bale size, a parallel-action injector plate moves into position. This reduces the net cycle time and increases baling speed by eliminating the time a completed bale needs to pick up the net.

See also: Vicon gives glimpse of latest baler

The net brake also releases slightly to allow the injector to take in the free net, and when the bale is at 100% the net is applied and driven on to its perimeter by the rotation of the bale.

The injector and guide rollers return to their resting position. Then, when the knife cuts the net, it is caught by the injector to leave a ‘tail’ ready for the next bale.

“There are no driven rollers, just a pair of guide rollers for increased reliability,” says Mike Howell, Vicon’s grass product manager, “and the system minimises the risk of interference by the wind or crop conditions”.

Loading height has also been reduced and the spare rolls are now sited right next to the PowerBind system under the nearside cover so they can be easily replaced.

Technology updates

Vicon says it has updated the baler software, allowing control via the Focus II terminal, its own Tellus Isobus monitor or the tractor’s Isobus unit.

The company’s Intelligent Density 3D control, which gives the user pre-programmed values for silage, hay, and straw, shows in graphic form the individual density settings for the core, mid and outer layers and allows them to be fine-tuned by the operator. Pressure and net wrap quantity can also be customised.

Buttons on the home screen control the pick-up and knives, and a steering wheel icon helps the operator steer left or right to fill the bale evenly. The bale growth bar also now displays the bale size as it increases.

UK models

There are two models destined for the UK, the RV5216 producing bales up to 1.6m and the RV5220 making bales up to 2m. Both have a 2.2m pick-up with five tine bars and two support bushes per bar. SuperFeed non-chopping and Supercut versions with 14 or 25 knives can be specified.

Both models are also available as FlexiWrap integrated baler-wrappers on a twin axle chassis and will be previewed at Grassland UK next spring.

Prices go from £37,610 for the RV5216 SuperFeed model and £82,935 for the FlexiWrap version.