Grassland UK: 16 must-see farm machines on show

New machines for mowing, tedding, raking, baling, wrapping and harvesting grass will be in action at Grassland UK.

We round up the highlights.

See also: Forager makers ready their big guns for spring

Albutt bale handlers

Allbut F450 CAT wheel loader

Two new loader attachments for squeeze-grabbing rather than spiking bales – which means they can be used for picking up and placing wrapped bales – will be shown by Albutt at the Grassland UK event.

The F352 Square Bale Handler is an overhead clam design with a two-stage squeeze action that minimises the gap left between bales when stacking.

Built for use with a tractor loader or telehandler, the device is adjustable to four closed positions from 540-1,030mm to suit different size packages.

Albutt’s F450 Bale Squeezer is another heavy-duty design but this time for end- or side-clamping round or square bales, wrapped or bare.

The gripper arms are pushed outwards by a hydraulic cylinder to a spacing of between 0.75m and 2.05m and the relatively narrow closed dimensions makes it easier to access buildings.

The implement, which has a capacity of 1t and weighs 220kg, can have a back frame added to securely grab and carry two bales at a time and is supplied with telehandler, tractor loader, skid-steer or wheeled loader brackets.

Amazone drill

Amazone ED drill

A third-generation “ED” precision drill from Amazone is expected at the show in the shape of an ED 4500-2C complete with fertiliser hopper and microgranular kit.

It features a new electrically driven fertiliser metering system as well as the hydraulically driven seed-metering system with individual row shut-off via GPS.

The drill is Isobus-ready for setting up, monitoring and controlling through a tractor terminal.

Seed metering uses the vacuum and mechanical singling principle as before, and there is a choice of Classic and Contour sowing units but with new options for the latter catering for very light and sandy soils.

These include a second depth guidance roller and a seed press roller to obtain maximum seed-to-soil contact.

Seed hopper capacity is increased to 60 litres/row (so 720 litres for a 12-row model) with seed level monitoring, while the new electric drive to the fertiliser metering system allows simpler calibration and variable rate.

Bock silage sheet

Bock Kombi2Plus silage covers

Forage clamp specialist Bock UK is exhibiting its Kombi2Plus silage sheet and Silofix cover belt for the first time at the event.

The silage sheet includes a underlay film wound on the same roll to provide maximum protection against damage to either sheet, as well as acting as an oxygen barrier.

Bock’s Silofix belts lie over the clamp and hold down the covers to maintain an air-tight seal using gravel bags attached at 80cm intervals.

John Deere baler

John Deere 900-series Goweil wrapping baler

Wrapping on-the-go with one of John Deere’s fast-discharge, variable-size round balers is now possible following a joint development with Goweil to produce the G5040 Kombi Ready option that will be shown at the event.

Installed by a dealer, the system comprises a twin-axle chassis and satellite-arm wrapping system that replaces the baler’s own running gear.

It can be used with a John Deere 960 – producing 80-160cm diameter bales – or the 990 model for bales up to 185cm diameter.

The flexible curtain rear enclosure of these balers provides a rapid exit from the chamber for finished bales; the transfer system then quickly moves the bale into the wrapping position where two arm-mounted dispensers apply stretch film.

John Deere says the outfit can carry enough film for a day’s wrapping.

The 960 and 990 balers are available with 2.2m RotoFlow or MaxiCut 13- or 25-knife pre-cutter pick-up assemblies and come with a full-width drop-floor mechanism to clear plugs of grass.

Wrapping while baling is possible with the Goweil G5040 Kombi Ready option for John Deere 900-series variable-chamber round balers.

Claas Volto tedders

Claas Volto 1300T tedder

The Claas Volto grass tedders being featured at Grassland UK have a bigger addition for growers wanting higher outputs.

At 13m, the Volto 1300T is the widest tedder in the Claas range, using 10 rotors, each 1.5m wide and carrying seven arms, to cover the ground.

The cranked arm design of the Max Spread layout is said to improve crop flow and allow faster working speeds without loss of spreading quality.

Spreading angle can be altered without tools and standard equipment includes a headland crop guard.

A headland lift mechanism that raises all rotors for a headland turn while they continue to rotate is a new option and, in addition to the support wheel on each rotor, there double castor wheels on the drawbar to help maintain an even keel over undulating ground.

JCB Loadall attachments

JCB 541-70 Loadall Power Grab

New attachments developed for JCB’s latest Loadall telescopic handlers and Farm Master wheeled loaders will be at Grassland UK, where the 4000-series Fastrac will also make its forage-working debut on the Krone plot.

A more refined design process making optimum use of stronger steel for added durability and increased payloads is behind the latest Multi Shovel, Power Grab and Grain Shovel attachments but there are individual improvements too.

The Multi Shovel’s grab has 50% more clamping force, the Power Grab comes with a bigger tine opening and more effective spillguard, and the Grain Shovel buckets have improved geometry and reduced weight resulting in increased load ratings.

These improvements complement the performance gains achieved by a new boom hydraulics system on Loadall 531-70, 536-60, 536-70, 541-70, 535-95, 550-80 and 560-80 Agri handlers that promotes faster cycle times for up to 20% greater productivity, especially when rehandling.

The main change is that the boom can be lowered more quickly under full control by allowing oil to move through the lift cylinder circuit faster, even at low engine revs.

Lowering time is now as quick with the engine on tickover as it was at high revs with the previous system, says JCB, resulting in fuel- as well as time-savings. 

Vicon balers

Vicon RV5216 baler

The latest variable chamber balers from Vicon will make their working debut at the show to demonstrate the new PowerBind net application system, which uses fewer components and works without feed rollers.

The RV5216 produces bales up to 1.65m while the RV5220 is a 2m version; both have five endless belts for bale formation and a “closed” chamber for reliable bale start.

The PowerBind system is reckoned to provide one of the fastest net-wrap processes and rolls are replenished low down on the machine, with spare rolls carried adjacent to the netting mechanism.

Easier baler operation and density control is promised by the Intelligent Density 3D software, which provides preconfigured settings for straw, hay and silage, reducing the likelihood of errors when changing crops.

But it is still possible to dial in custom settings for the three distinct zones within each bale.

Kuhn rakes

Kuhn GA-13131 rakes

Hydraulic working height adjustment is a standard feature of the new Kuhn GA 13131 four-rotor rake being introduced at Grassland UK for large farms and contractors.

Working width is adjustable between 11m and 12.5m using four rotors, each carrying 11 tine arms with four tines per arm and supported by four pivoting, large-diameter wheels to carry the weight effectively while also keeping the tines at the required height over undulating ground.

Kuhn’s three-dimensional rotor suspension is used to provide good stability when working at high speeds and the headstock-mounted hydraulic rotor drive system can drive the front rotors up to 20% faster when working in light crops.

The operator uses the cab-mounted VT50 Isobus-compatible terminal to operate the implement, including swath width adjustment between 150cm and 240cm to suit following equipment.

Control sequences can be recorded and replayed to simplify headland turns and each rotor can be lifted individually to maintain a clean raking performance at angled headlands.

Schuitemaker silage wagon

Schuitemaker Rapide 65 silage wagon

A bigger capacity version of the Rapide 55 silage pick-up wagon shown at last year’s grassland event will make its debut at Grassland UK.

From Dutch firm Schuitemaker, the Rapide 65 with 37cu m capacity according to the level-fill DIN standard has a 6cu m bigger load volume – up more than 19% – for increased productivity.

Like the Rapide 55 before it, it has a gear-driven 1.8m pick-up and chopping rotor but otherwise mid-range specs and relatively compact dimensions including 2.5m overall width.

Kuhn mower-conditioners

Kuhn FC-3160 TCD centre-pivot mower conditioner

Mowing up and down rather than in lands or round and round reduces dead time and headland compaction, says Kuhn in favour of the 3.1m and 3.5m centre-drawbar mower-conditioners that will be highlighted at the show.

The new FC 3160 TCD can be operated offset to either side of the tractor, with or without a front-mounted mower-conditioner, and is towed in-line during road travel.

It comes with Kuhn’s Gyrodine swivel hitch for optimum pto shaft alignment, enabling 540rpm or 1,000rpm speeds and sharp turns.

Mowing is by an Optidisc cutterbar with Fast-Fit knives, conditioning by either a steel flail rotor or a two-speed 240mm diameter twin roller mechanism for gentler treatment of the crop, which can either be laid in a swath or spread for a faster wilt.

Pottinger mowers

Novacat power contoller for Pottinger mower

An 8.3m Novacat X8 rear-mounted butterfly unit for triple mower combinations will be a highlight of the Pottinger demonstration at Grassland UK, working with new Power Control operating terminal for tractors with load-sensing hydraulics.

The plain mower, which weighs in at 1,800kg compared with 2,200kg for the flail conditioner version and 2,400kg for the roller conditioner model, has 14 discs with two blades each and needs from 140hp to fell grass at a typical rate of about 10ha/hour.

Power Control is a multifunction Isobus-compatible controller with a small colour display and backlit, slightly raised membrane buttons. There are four soft keys that can be allocated to functions of the operator’s choice in addition to dedicated buttons.

Because the controller also operates a front-mounted mower, lifting and lowering can be automated so that the front and rear units operate in turn, based either on timing or distance travelled, at the press of a single button rather than grabbing at different spool valve levers or switches. 

Claas Liner grass rake

Claas Liner 3600 grass rake

A twin-rotor grass rake, configured for easy transportation on the road but that can be pushed out to gather 12.5m of grass, has been added to the Claas Liner range being demonstrated at the show.

The Liner 3600 replaces the 3500 model using proven components, including the permanently lubricated cam track, but with new running gear to keep transport height below 4m without having to remove any tine arms and allow 620/40 R22.5 tyres to be fitted for in-field flotation while keeping the machine within a 3m width on the road.

A low centre of gravity also results from the new arrangement, says Claas.

The newcomer’s working-width span starts at 9.9m using tine arms equipped with four dual tines on rotors supported by a four-wheel chassis that positions the wheels close to the tines for accurate height control to minimise contamination.    

Stocks Ag air seeder

Stocks Ag air seeder

The Turbo Jet VS-2 being introduced at Grassland UK by Stocks Ag is a version of the company’s 12V air seeders specced primarily for grass seeding. It will mostly be fitted to a tined grass harrow for overseeding or rejuvenation of pasture.

It shares the same mechanical features as the higher-spec Turbo Jet models but with a lower cost control system giving accurate speed proportionate sowing of grass and other small seeds.

The VS-2 controller automatically maintains a preset seeding rate despite changes in forward speed, with manual on-the-go nudging of the rate up or down and monitoring of all functions with simple audio-visual alarms.

Forward speed can be monitored by a supplied GPS receiver that requires no set-up, or a radar unit, land wheel or tractor ISO plug.

There are 240-litre and 400-litre hoppers with a separately powered agitator and water- and dustproof fans, and either eight or 10 outlets supplying twice that number of distributor plates.

Alo front loader

Alo Top Grip front-loader bale handler

The latest front loader from Swedish manufacturer Alo is said to offer a novel way of handling round or square bales that guards against damage.

The arm extends over the bale and clamps it towards the back frame to pull it away from a stack. The clamp then works its way to the back of the bale, using the weight of the arm instead of hydraulic force.

This action prevents damage and is said to be ideal for farmers who rehandle wrapped square or round bales that are stacked closely together.

The Top Grip bale handler is one of a range of products that make up the company’s Original Implements range of load carriers for wheeled loaders and telescopic handlers.

Pottinger tedder

Pottinger HIT tedder

A swept-back tine arm design is a feature of the new Pottinger Hit 4.54 tedder being shown at the event, and one of several newcomers to the HIT range.

The implement has four rotors of 1.67m diameter, each carrying six tines shaped to provide even and efficient spreading of grass and gentler crop handling with reduced risk of wrapping.

Spreading angle can be adjusted on each rotor in three steps without extra tools and large gears and bearings on the Dynatech rotors are intended to ensure smooth operation and a long service life through regular grease lubrication.

For transport, the outer rotors can be pivoted inwards 180deg to minimise width.

Rycam fertiliser spreaders

Raycam twin-disc fertiliser spreader

Raycam twin-disc fertiliser spreaders from JC Machinery will be shown at the Grassland UK event for the first time, emphasising the suitability of the machines for dairy and other livestock farmers.

Pressed polyester is used for hoppers of 1,100-litre and 2,500-litre capacity that are supported in a tubular steel frame.

They mount on a twin disc spreading mechanism with stainless steel used for the discs and gearbox to resist corrosion.

To find out more from Grassland UK, visit the organiser’s website.