Precision baler debut
CLAASs Quadrant 1200 RC precision chop, big square baler made its debut at Welsh Grassland. The demo model was one of only two machines in the UK.
Incorporating the German companys Roto Cut 25 knife chopping system, interest in the £75,000 baler is expected to be enhanced by both the steep increase in the cost of bale wrapping plastic, and farmer interest in easy feeding bales.
Grass is cut to 44mm lengths allowing between 10% and 15% more to be packed into a bale. A 1.6m (5ft) long silage bale weighs 496kg and has a density of 370kg/cu.m. A 2.4m long straw bale weighs 363kg and has a density of 180kg/cu.m. Despite this high density, the chopped material separates readily when the bale is opened, says Claas.
The firm believes the new square bale wrappers will increase interest in square bales for hay, straw and silage.
Product manager, Trevor Tyrrell, is also convinced that more farmers are likely to opt for chopping round and square balers.
"When contractors say that customers complain about the extra cost, my advice is to do a few chopped bales and then switch off the mechanism. When a farmer looks at the comparative costs of wrapping and ease of feeding, he will have the lot chopped next time."