31 May 2002

Bouncing back, big

time…

Sunshine and showers did

little to spoil last weeks

Grassland 2002 event

which presented a bumper

crop of developments in the

grassland machinery

sector. Andy Moore and

Peter Hill report

BIG machinery, big crowds and typically British weather – Grassland 2002 was, for most, an event to remember after last years show cancellations.

Held at Crewe Farm, Stoneleigh, Warks, the two-day event saw a host of companies introduce new equipment into the grassland machinery market.

And if proof were needed the market is buoyant, most firms reported sales matched or exceeded those or last years boom, despite the effects of F&M.

John Deere used the event to demonstrate its grassland equipment which has benefited from a big revamp.

The companys new 3.1m front-mounted 131 mower can be used with the existing 1365 trailed model to cut 6.1m in a single pass.

Adding a grouper enables the combination to produce one or two windrows 2.3m wide.

Deere says the 131 can also be paired with the new 3.1m rear-mounted 331 to give a 6.2m cutting width. Swath widths can be varied from 1.2m to 2.5m.

Complementing the mowers, Deere also introduced five new 500 series round balers including three variable and two fixed chamber models.

But pulling the most crowds on Deeres demo plot was the companys latest French-built 678 TTSystem round baler wrapper combination.

Based on the new 678 fixed chamber baler, the machine has a 2m pick-up and pre-cutter to produce a 1.17m wide bale which can be varied in diameter from 1.25m to 1.35m.

A key feature of the machine, says Deere, is its Table Transport System (TTS).

When the bale chamber opens, the wrapping table retracts to receive the bale, which is turned on two belted rolls and wrapped by twin film dispensers.

After wrapping, the table pivots to ground level to lay the bale on the deck. Price of the 678 TTSystem is to be announced, while the 131 and 331 mowers cost £9371 and £9268, respectively. &#42