4 December 1998

Spreaders designed to make grass wilt

SPREADING grass behind the mower, rather than leaving it in a tight swath, was the most obvious trend among grassland equipment at this years show.

The concept has two aims – to encourage faster wilting to help silage-making in a catchy season; and to encourage a more thorough wilt for higher dry matter forage.

Spreading the swath with a rake is one approach. But mower manufacturers have been quick to realise that spreading off the mower is a quicker and cheaper method. At this years show more companies unveiled inexpensive deflector vane kits to fit under the hood.

For the Kuhn FC240P and FC280P 2.4m and 2.8m (7ft 10in and 9ft 2in) mower-conditioners, a blanking plate helps smooth the flow of grass across triangular-shaped vanes; on JFs GX-series tractor-mounted mowers, the grass hood is extended and prominent vanes added. But adjustable doors mean grass can still be laid in a swath if required.

Simple curved vanes form the optional "Quick Dry" kit for Niemeyers first Eurodisc mower-conditioner from Vogel & Noot. The tractor-mounted machine features a full-width nylon-fingered conditioning rotor above an oval-disc cutting bed.

The kit supplied for Lely Splendimo and Optimo mounted mower-conditioners includes a drilling jig to ensure accurate positioning when retro-fitting.

All these designs have vanes adjusted individually. On Vicons new DMP tractor-mounted mowers, the vanes are attached to a simple linkage so spreading width can be quickly adjusted. &#42