Grassland UK: Lacotec forage harvester makes working debut

Lacotec’s unusual LHII reverse-drive forage harvester got its first public demo sporting a purpose-built grass pick-up at Grassland UK.

The German company has used the system with maize headers, wholecrop cutterbars and grass pick-ups from various manufacturers in the past, but this is the first time it has shown a forage harvester at work at the business end of the machine.

See also: Lacotec readies Raptor tractor

It is reckoned to match the output of a smaller self-propelled forage harvester and can handle up to 500hp.

What is really impressive is that the forager can be taken off at the end of the season, leaving the tractor to carry out other duties.

It is not the first machine to do that, says Lacotec’s Matthew Noble (Fendts, Valtras and Claas Xerions can perform the same trick) but it is the first one to do it on this scale.

Lacotec is also the first maker to use a corn-cracker that can process maize kernels.

Key features include a metal detector with adjustable sensitivity, auto-sharpening controlled from the cab plus auto shear-bar positioning and knock-sensors.

There is also full auto-lubrication, stepless chop-length adjustment (thanks to on-board hydraulics for the feed-roller and header drive), integral cooling pack with reverse-drive fan and Isobus-compatible colour screen and joystick.

The corn cracker is unusual in that instead of using pairs of rollers running at different speeds to crush the grain it has interlocking discs running at identical speeds to do the job.

This means the discs present a much bigger surface area (Lacotec reckons 270% more) to the crop as it passes through. It also means the corn cracker isn’t the bottleneck it used to be.

Standard wholecrop and maize headers from Deere, Kemper and Claas can be used with the machine. List price is £60,000.