13 December 1996

Low-cost, high DMsilage, in a German vane…

A LOW-COST approach to making high dry matter silage will be trialled by Krone in the UK next year.

The system uses a standard disc mower from the German firms range, adapted by fitting a simple vaned hood that spreads the flail-conditioned grass across the width of the machine.

The degree of conditioning can be altered by changing the speed of the "V" tine rotor, adjusting the distance between the cutting bed and rotor, or changing the rotor-to-head spacing. Spreading can also be adjusted to suit different conditions, since the angle of each deflector vane can be altered.

Normally, the vanes are set to lay the grass 45cm (18in) away from the uncut crop so the tractors offside wheels do not run on the cut grass on the next bout.

The system has been developed initially for use with Krones 2.83m (9ft 2in) AM283CV tractor-mounted disc mower-conditioner, and tests in Germany and the Netherlands are said to have shown that it will consistently produce silage with a dry matter of up to 30%.

&#8226 Krones latest single rotor grass rake has a number of features to improve performance and reduce maintenance. It comes in two versions – the 4.2m (13ft 9in) KS4.21/13 at £5780 and the 4.6m (15ft) KS4.61/13 at £6350. Both use aluminium for the tine arm carriers to cut weight, and run on an unusual staggered tandem axle giving a wide stance for stability and good contour-following.

The tine arms run in a fully-enclosed cam track filled with liquid grease to ensure there is no metal-to-metal contact and less likelihood of excessive cam or track wear. Damaged arms can be replaced individually without having to dismantle the machine as with the previous design.

Adjustable spreading vanes added to Krones disc mower-conditioner are designed to offer a low-cost adaptation for high dry matter silage.