31 May 1996

Firms still heading down the high dry matter silage route

HIGH dry matter silage may not have been on the menu at a rather damp Grassland 96 but the technique still dominates the thinking of forage machinery makers.

At the 1993 Grassland demo, manufacturers were already heading down the high dry matter route with big tedding and raking machines making their first appearance. And three years on the list of tedder and rake options continues to grow.

Viv Richardson, sales director at Reco, says interest in high dry matter silage is likely to increase still further, particularly in the wake of the BSE crisis.

"The upshot of the BSE crisis is likely to be even more importance placed on making better quality, home-produced forage and relying less on bought-in feeds. And quality silage means getting it drier."

Reco had three new Fella machines on show – two giant rakes and one tedder. The TS800 (£12,850) rake is a semi-mounted, twin-rotor machine capable of gathering up to 7.6m (24ft 11in) of grass into a single, centre swath. Also with twin rotors, but fitted in a staggered configuration, the TS1601 (£13,650) is a side-delivery machine with a working width of up to 8.4m (27ft 6in).

For tedding and spreading, Fellas six-rotor TH790 (£6775) trailed tedder has a working width of 7.7m (25ft 3in) and folds mechanically to within the tractors width when moving from field to field. Four- and eight-rotor versions are also available.

Working next door to Reco at Stoneleigh was Kvernelands TA 753C (£10,975) centre-delivery rake, mounted on steerable tandem wheels. Working width is up to 7.5m (24ft 7in) and again a side-delivery version (£15,970), capable of putting up to 13.2m (43ft 3in) of grass – from two passes – into one swath, is available.

Back to tedding, Kuhn was demonstrating its 7.5m GF 7501 MH model for the first time at Grassland. Capable of spreading three 3m (10ft) mower swaths with the tractor straddling the centre of the three, the tedder has a minimum power requirement of 30hp.

One of Kvernelands giant rakes rows up at Kemira Grassland 96.