26 October 2001

Harvest demo goes down a

treat with beet growers

Sugar beet growers were treated to an impressive

harvesting demonstration at the recent Beet UK

event held at Shouldham, Norfolk. Andy Collings

and Andy Moore report

HOW beet harvesting has changed. What was once a tedious time-consuming operation which called for a significant amount of manual input, has now turned into a slick, speedy operation.

Key to this dynamic change of course, has been the development of high powered multi-row self-propelled harvesters capable of phenomenal daily outputs.

But there is a cost. The vast majority of self-propelled machines working at the Beet UK event carried price tags well in excess of the £200,000 mark with a few companies declining to even discuss prices. Such machines are clearly aimed at the contractor business where large acreages can be used to justify such huge investments.

Impressive as they are, these giants of the sugar beet harvesting business do not currently have it all their own way. The event also saw new developments in two, three and four-row trailed machines which, for in-house harvesting operations, still have the potential to turn in acceptable work rates.

Even so, the growing domination of self-propelled harvesters would suggest that manufacturers now need to have such machines in their portfolio. &#42

British Sugars beet harvester assessments carried out at Beet UK event.

Harvester Speed Above Root Total Dirt Impact

losses ground breakages tare damage*

(km/h) (t/ha) (t/ha) (t/ha) (%) (J)

2-row trailed

Tim M111SA/TE120 4.4 0.33 2.10 2.42 5.9 68

Armer Salmon TR2000 6.5 0.52 2.60 3.13 5.3 n/a

3-row trailed

Thyregod T7 4.5 1.08 1.52 2.61 5.0 97

Tim 5.0 0.28 2.13 2.41 3.9 123

4-row trailed

Thyregod T9 5.4 1.22 1.52 2.74 6.8 101

Edenhall 734 4.0 0.67 2.30 2.97 5.8 88

6-row trailed

Garford V6 Hydro 4.5 0.08 1.42 1.50 9.1 92

Garford VT640 4.5 0.57 1.01 1.58 8.2 72

6-row self-propelled

Holmer Terra Dos 6.3 0.36 1.35 1.71 8.2 98

Agrifac/WKM Big Six 5.3 0.23 2.00 2.23 5.5 114

Riecam 300T 6.0 0.15 1.42 1.57 7.2 93

Matrot M2001 5.6 0.26 1.39 1.65 6.9 100

Ropa Euro-Tiger 5.2 0.26 2.00 2.25 4.5 118

Vervaet 17t tanker 5.0 0.16 1.79 1.96 4.1 94

9-row self-propelled

Vervaet 9-row tanker 5.3 0.28 1.29 1.56 6.3 70

* Measured using an electronic beet with lower score indicating less damage.

Six wheel steering for the Agrifac/WKM Big Six self-propelled six-row harvester. Power comes from a 400hp Deutz engine with hydrostatic drive employed throughout the machine.

Bigger and bigger…The Ropa Euro-Tiger makes its UK debut at the Beet UK event. A large German six-row self-propelled harvester, features include three axles, 29t tank capacity and an articulated chassis for tighter headland turns.

Top lifting has its followers. Armer Salmons TR2000 harvester is claimed to produce cleaner beet with less tare. Two and three-row machines are available having tanks with 4t and 5.5t capacities.

Beet loading big time with Ropas cleaner loader which has its own 8.5m wide collecting system for loading direct from a heap. Output is claimed to be about 5t/min – a 25t lorry loaded in just five minutes.

The events showstopper came in the form of the Vervaet nine-row tanker harvester. This Dutch giant, with its three axles, 550hp Deutz engine and 25t capacity tank has eight variable speed cleaning turbines.

Armer Machinerys Riecam RBM 300-S six-row tanker harvester purrs through the beet. The companys new 400T harvester failed to make it to the event.

Thyregods new four-row trailed T-9 harvester gets its first public airing at Beet UK. All the features of the companys smaller machine incorporated into a four-row harvester, says the manufacturer.