15 May 1998

Exhibitors quick to exploit

cost benefits

Visitors to Welsh and West Grass 98 last week faced

typical wet and blustery early May weather, which served to

emphasise the events message: Make silage quickly.

Ian Marshall reports on new developments

SPEED of operation when making silage – without sacrificing quality – was the main theme at Welsh and West Grass 98.

And with an eye to cutting costs, efficient use of machinery and labour was also a point many exhibitors were keen to extol.

One-pass bale and wrap combinations were out in force. Round bales were catered for by the Autowrappa 3 from Reco, the Wickelprofi introduced by Danagri and the 991 Combi from McHale, all of which created considerable interest.

But one of the events main crowd pullers was to be discovered in the McHale camp – the pre-production prototype of its 998 trailed big square bale wrapper.

Designed to handle all makes and sizes of big square bales, the 998, which will cost about £29,950, is claimed to have an output of 70-80 bales an hour to match the output of current big balers.

Wrapping sequence is computer controlled once the machines control box has been pre-programmed with data such as bale size and number of wraps required. The bale is first picked up and fed by a roller conveyor on to the wrapping bed. It is then raised to the correct height for rotation, and film delivered from two spools is applied by a rotating arm.

Once wrapping is complete the wrapped bale is ejected by the movement of the roller conveyor bringing in the next bale.

Watveare announced its return to the baling sector of the market with the Feraboli Sprinter 165/180 variable chamber round baler. Under final evaluation in the UK, Watveare claims the baler is the only variable chamber design capable of creating a bale with a soft centre more akin to those produced by a fixed chamber. The size of the soft centre core can be adjusted from 30cm-1.10m (12in-3.6ft) in four stages.

Key to this system is the machines variable geometry, where the travel of the main hydraulic belt tension arm is altered by positioning pins either side of the chamber. Until the bale diameter reaches the position of this arm, the bales are tensioned by only spring pressure. When the bale diameter reaches that of the pre-set core, the hydraulic arm is used to supply greater pressure to outside layers.

In hard core mode, the hydraulic tension arm controls the bale density immediately giving a normal, uniform bale.

On the self-propelled forager front John Deere used the event to give the 6850 its first public work-out. Deeres contribution to the forager power race comes in the form of the PowerTech engine, which, in the 6850, produces 440hp at its rated speed of 2100 rpm, rising to 480hp when the engine lugs down to 1900rpm.

Other changes on the machine, which carries a price approaching £124,000, include a new crop accelerator designed to cut power consumption and increased spout rotation. &#42

McHales 998 trailed big square bale wrapper features computer control of the wrapping operation and is said to have a capability of 70-80 bales an hour, to match the output of todays large balers.

Reverse drive Valtra with the new Claas Disco 8000 FC mower conditioner gets to grips with a lush grass crop. Working width is 8.4m (30ft) and output is claimed to be up to 60ha (150 acres) a day.

Variable soft centre from 30cm-1.10m or hard core bales with Watveares variable chamber Feraboli Sprinter 165/180 baler.