9 August 2002

JD puts grass commitment on show

With a new range of round

balers, mowers and a baler-

wrapper combination John

Deeres appearance at the

recent Grassland event

was an important occasion

for the company

THOSE searching for proof of John Deeres commitment to the grassland machinery market need have looked no further than this years Grassland event.

With no less than 10 new products announced, the event was the firms biggest ever launch pad for new grassland equipment.

"Our sales in this sector have increased consistently over the past few years," says the companys David Hart. "To meet customer demand, we have invested over £16m in production facilities in Arc Les Gray in France where the entire range is made."

Drawing the biggest crowds on Deeres demo plot at Grassland 2002 was its new 678TTSystem baler/wrapper combination.

Designed and built exclusively by Deere, the all-in-green machine borrows a fixed bale chamber from the firms new 578 round baler.

The baler/wrapper uses a 2m pick-up and pre-cutter with spring-protected knives and a mechanical reverser that delivers crop to the chamber.

Bale width is 1.17m, and diameter can be adjusted from 1.25m to 1.35m.

"A key feature of the machine is its Table Transport System TTS," adds Mr Hart. "The table extends to receive the bale which is turned on two belted rollers and wrapped by twin 750mm film dispensers."

After wrapping, the table lowers the bale on to the ground. Mr Hart says work rates of up to 60 bales an hour can be achieved.

On the round baler front, John Deere has introduced five machines including a new smaller fixed chamber 568 model.

Designed for the farmer, the 568 joins the new 578 fixed chamber baler, which is aimed at the contractor.

"Both models produce 1.17m wide bales, and diameters can be varied from 1.25m to 1.35m by partially opening the chamber door," he says. "The 568 has a conventional 2m pickup, while the 578 uses a 2m pickup with precutter and monitor-controlled reverser."

Infinitely adjustable chamber pressure and hydraulic tensioning are designed to achieve optimum density and quality in all conditions.

Filling out the baler fleet are the variable chamber 572, 582 and 592, which produce bales from 0.6m to 1.3m, 1.55m and 1.8m, respectively.

"In addition to standard 1.81m and 2m precutter pickups, the 582 and 592 can be armed with new 2m and 2.2m Hi-Flo precutter pickups," says Mr Hart. "The Hi-Flo pickups are designed for better bale starting and crop feeding in large windrows."

Mounted on a heavy-duty crankshaft are two feeding forks which are designed to move crop smoothly into the baler with the aid of converging augers.

Pairs of rotating forks draw the crop against 14 spring-loaded knives, spaced at 7cm, while a hydraulically actuated reverser can be operated from the cab.

Diamond tread forming belts grip crop as it enters the chamber which produces bales with a tight dense core, while two cylinders maintain belt pressure.

Computer control includes BaleTrack and BaleTrack Plus monitors for use with standard and precutter models, respectively.

Completing Deeres new grassland kit range are four new mowers, with two designed specifically to meet the needs of forage-hungry harvesters.

The new-fronted mounted 131 mower offers an eight disc 3.1m cutting width – and swath widths can be varied from 1.4m to 2m. When used with the trailed 1365 mower, the 131 achieves a 6.1m cutting width.

The 131 can also be operated with the new 331 rear mounted mower conditioner to give a 6.2m cut.

Bottoming out the new mowers are the new 3m 730 and 3.5m 735 which join the larger 946 and 956 models.

The 131 and 331 mowers cost £9371 and £9268, respectively, while the 678 baler/wrapper commands £43,495. &#42