The farm machinery industry has faced tougher times over the past two years – but there has been little or no let-up in the development of new and improved equipment for harvesting and handling grass. Peter Hill previews the new kit that will be at Scotgrass in Dumfries.
An expanded range of Claas Disco triple mowers now includes the 8400C Contour and 9100C Contour equipped with centre-mounted wing mowing units for good contour-following performance, helped by the cab-adjustable Active-Float hydro-pneumatic suspension. Swing-and-lift break-back protection also features, together with close coupling and high-strength steels to minimise weight on the tractor. Working widths are 8.10m and 8.90m.
|The 3.2m JF-Stoll GXF 320P front mower-conditioner.|
The latest generation of front-mounted mower-conditioners from JF- Stoll feature a new suspension design – Contour Float – to follow ground contours accurately at fast working speeds. The GXF mower’s cutting deck is pulled by the headstock, with the suspension allowing 12deg of sideways inclination, 16deg of tilt forwards and backwards to keep the cutting discs parallel with the ground and 55cm of total vertical movement. There is also a new low-profile cutter bar with a full-width guide shoe and Quick’n’Safe discs with quick replacement blades.
|Krone Big M 400 self-propelled mower-conditioner.|
The BiG M 400replaces the current BiG M II self-propelled mower-conditioner with the same 9.7m working width but 400hp – 40hp more – from a Mercedes-Benz engine that trims revs during transport to save fuel. There is also a more efficient engine cooling system and a new driver’s cab with a colour terminal providing more control features.
Rear-mounted drum mowers from 1.65m to 3.3m are now in the Kuhn range, as well as drum mower-conditioners in front- and rear-mounted formats, trailed and triple gang up to 9m options. A 1.65m PZ 170 will be the on show, with patented drums with flat sides and replaceable transport plates for fast movement of crop between them, freely rotating saucers and quick-change blades.
|Twose Silvercut 300FC disc mower-conditioner.|
The Twose Silvercut 300FC disc mower-conditioner is a heavier duty addition to the range with 3m working width from a disc bed featuring individual disc drive protection and quick-change knives. A plastic tine conditioner is standard and the whole assembly is suspended at its centre from a single arm giving effective contour following.
|Vicon Extra 628T mounted mower-conditioner.|
Three additions to the Vicon Extra range of mower-conditioners are a pair of smaller rear-mounted models with 2.4m and 2.8m working widths, and the first front-mounted Extra model – the 3.2m 632FT. A revised three-bladed disc bed design with quieter running gears is used on all three, while the mounted models switch from the DMP’s end-mounted layout to a single arm centre-suspended design for improved flexibility over contours. They have fixed tine conditioners while the front-mounted model has a semi-free swinging steel tine design.
Tedding and raking
Latest edition Liner 4000 four-rotor grass rake from Claas has a hydraulically-lowered chassis to reduce transport height to less than 4m. There are 14 removable tine arms, protected by cam clutches, on each rotor and the Isobus-compatible controls includes a timed headland raising/lowering sequence for reduced operator workload.
|Fella TS10055 centre-delivery rake from Reco.|
The newest addition to the Fella range of twin-rotor rakes from Ruston’s Engineering (Reco) is also the largest – the TS10055’s two centre-delivery rotors cover a working width adjustable from 8.8m to 10m. A system of “progressive action steering” is said to make the implement highly manoeuvrable and to combine with a wide chassis with low centre of gravity for good stability at high speed on the road and on steep hillsides. The driveline is protected by an overrun clutch in addition to overload protection on the rotors, which are adjustable for working height by hand crank – hydraulic adjustment is a future development.
|Krone’s 11.2m wide KWT11.22 mounted tedder.|
The KWT 11.22 tedder uses 10 small-diameter rotors to cover a working width of more than 11m, each carrying tubular tine arms with five-coil tines secured by an anti-tine less system. Working angle is adjustable between 12deg and 19deg without tools and there is a hydraulic boundary tedding set-up on each side. For transport, the trailed machine folds to a compact configuration using an automated sequence operated from a single spool valve and runs on a dedicated chassis with wide 2.4m track for stability.
|Kuhn GF 502 grass tedder.|
The French company will be showing a rotary tedder from its “value” range for smaller producers. The 5m GF 502 is representative of three models at the lower end of the Gyrotedder range; it is three-point mounted, uses Kuhn’s patented Digidrive rotor coupling and is equipped with an oblique drive function for operating on headlands or for distributing grass upwards on slopes. Balloon tyres provide good load-bearing capacity and the rotors each have six tine arms fitted with robust four-coil tines.
|Pöttinger Top 1252C four-rotor grass rake.|
The EuroTop 620N from Pöttinger is the three-point linkage mounted twin rotor grass rake with 6m overall working width centre delivery, hydraulic folding and patented Lift Lock headstock. A new design of hydraulic/mechanical drive is claimed for the Pöttinger Top 1252C four-rotor trailed grass rake. It also has a wide range of infinitely adjustable working widths – from 8m to 12.5m – and clean raking from 13 tine arms per rotor.
A simpler-spec version of the 15m-wide Lotus 1500 grass tedder will be shown by Lely. Although its controls and general layout match those of the Profi edition, the standard model has one central drive gearbox instead of double drive and no brakes thanks to the 600kg reduction in weight to 3450kg. Adjustment to and from the headland position involves a single operation and folding to the compact transport and storage configuration is also said to be straightforward.
|Lely Lotus 1500 ‘economy’ 15m grass tedder.|
First time outing for Claas Rollant 400 series balers with up to 30% more output from a 15% greater density bale, 10% faster intake rotor speed and near-60% increase in knives fitted. A hydraulic drop floor clears blockages and there are more Communicator control terminal features, including pressure/density setting for the hydraulic cylinders holding the MPS system pressure rollers. Faster bale transfer and wrapping also lift output of the Rollant 455 Uniwrap baler-wrapper, which features hydraulically raised stretch wrap roll spindles. Reinforced rollers and 25% stronger chains also feature.
A two-way Isobus data communications link will be demonstrated on the John Deere 864 Premium variable chamber baler – one of eight in a revamped and renumbered range. In addition to tractor terminal control and monitoring of the baler, this system allows the implement to take command of pre-assigned functions – it will slow the tractor ready for bale release as the bale nears completion, for example. Two fixed chamber balers, a variable bale size baler and the 644-based 744 Premium wrapping baler will be shown with RotoFlow 2m and 2.2m pick-ups featuring a large diameter, high rpm rotor for increased performance and a new drop-floor grass plug clearing system, and MaxiCut versions with 14 or 25 crop slicing knives.
The FBP 2135 baler-wrapper combination will represent Kuhn’s now extensive range of round balers. This fixed chamber machine provides one-man production of bales wrapped using a reliable bale transfer system and high speed twin satellite film dispenser. The LSB 1270 will also be on show, representing a four-model range of big square balers. Isobus control compatibility, the OmniCut crop slicing system and new quick-change knives are among this machine’s features, as well as the novel twine release option that reduces knotter load with the highest density bales.
|Kuhn FBP 2135 baler-wrapper.|
The new Lely Welger RPC 445 Tornado is a compact baler-wrapper combination based on the established RP 435 variable chamber machine, which produces bales from 0.9m to 1.6m diameter. Features include split drive from the gearbox to both sides of the machine, mechanical tailgate locking, a new 800mm diameter feed-in rotor for the Xtracut 25 crop slicing system and a 2.25m wide pick-up that operates without cam guides. Auto bale diameter measurement and wrapper adjustment, and twin film dispensers mounted on a ring that folds almost vertically for transport also feature on the single axle machine.
|The McHale V660|
The V660 round baler from McHale is the Irish manufacturer’s first variable-size machine, introduced to complement the existing fixed-size baler and baler-wrapper. Features include split drive – on the left to the rollers and three bale-forming belts; on the right to the 2m pick-up and 15-knife chopper rotor – and a manually-operated drop floor. Back-up drive to the rollers helps when baling heavy, wet grass and the tailgate section is mechanically locked. Bale sizes are from 0.7m (2ft 4in) to 1.68m (5ft 6in) in 20mm (¾in) increments.
The New Holland BR7000 round baler makes its debut. This variable bale size machine comes with a larger diameter – 455mm – intake rotor with tines arranged in an exclusive “W” pattern that is said to ensure an even distribution of crop across the bale chamber width and so save on the usual practice of weaving along the swath initially. It also gives the machine a capacity lift – by up to a third.
First-time outing for the Kuhn SW 4004 self-loading, big square bale wrapper, which is capable of enclosing bales up to 120cm wide x 140cm high x 200cm long – including double bales – in stretch film. It will also handle round bales up to 150cm diameter.
|McHale 991 High Speed trailed bale wrapper.|
The McHale 991 High Speed trailed round bale wrapper has twin film dispensers and up to 50% more output than the 60-bales -an-hour single dispenser version. It is designed for contractors needing to match higher baler work rates or routinely putting on six rather than four layers of stretch film. There are two fixed 750mm film dispensers which apply two layers of overlapping film with each bale rotation. It also has electronic operation of the loading arm hydraulics and a patented damper system that gently lowers wrapped bales to the ground. Electronic controls and film-break sensors are also part of the package.
Farmers and contractors who take details of the number of bales wrapped per roll, wrapper capacity and cost per hour can have an assessment of potential savings and output improvements using the Volac Film Clinic calculator. This will evaluate the potential for reducing roll changes, the weight of plastic handled and subsequently recycled, increasing the range of wrapping operations and reducing transport costs. The clinic will also demonstrate preparation for optimum stretch film performance.
A new direct sales supplier of knife sharpening system and wearing parts for grassland and tillage machinery, including knives, pick-up tines, cam bearings, forage harvester shear bars and paddles, mower blades and tines for conditioning rotors, rakes and tedders, diet feeder knives and cutterbar knife sections sourced from leading manufacturers in Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe.
|“Rock Stop’er” stone protection can be fitted to all self-propelled foragers.|
Agrispares will be introducing a range of spares and parts manufactured in the US to fit Claas, Deere, Krone and New Holland self-propelled forage harvesters. Plus Canadian-built Rock Stop’er designed to minimise stone damage to harvester cutterhead components by detecting stones from golf ball size upwards and stopping the crop intake pick-up and rollers. It fits all self-propelled and some trailed foragers.
It’s first time out for the range-leading 812hp John Deere 7950 self-propelled forage harvester, featuring engine/speed management on the “i” model and a bearing condition monitoring system to give advance warning of possible malfunctions. Automatic length of cut adjustment and dry matter sensing aims to optimise silage quality while HarvestDoc software provides traceability records.
|Bigger capacity Krone MX 350 forage wagon.|
The 31cu m (DIN) MX 310 and 35cu m MX 350 extend the Krone MX range of forage wagons featuring an 880mm diameter feed-and-cut rotor with eight rows of Hardox plate-faced tines and 41 crop slicing knives, which drop down and swing out to one side for maintenance and replacement. A 1.8m cam-free pick-up collects the swath while the front end of the trailer’s floor slopes down to reduce the height that grass must be lifted by the feed system. Automatic conveyor floor indexing is an option for maximum fills.
The Tigo range of self-loading forage wagons makes its working debut with an upgraded gear-driven rotary crop slicing system with 40 knives that can be swivelled away from under the machine for easier maintenance and knife changing. There are two models in the “R” line with DIN capacities of 26 and 30cu m, three bigger “R” Profi models with up to 39cu m capacity, and the Tigo “R” Combi for use as a self-loading or chopper-filled forage trailer.
The event will see the launch of a world-first auto blade sharpening system for forage wagons that refreshes the cutting edge of 45 blades in just four minutes, plus an all-new Pöttinger Jumbo 10-series forage wagon range with 20% higher output from increased intake capacity and rated to 450hp. The 2010 edition of Pöttinger’s MEX 6 trailed forage harvester has a new in-cab control system, hydraulically adjustable drawbar and hydraulic folding extended chute.
|Strautmann Continuous Flow System pick-up with crop roller and (inside) spiral-profiled accelerator roller.|
Faster outputs and up to 10% fuel saving are claimed for the Continuous Flow System being introduced on Strautmann Giga Vitesse self-loading silage wagons from Ruston’s Engineering (Reco). It comprises a shallower pick-up reel with lower pivot point for increased sensitivity to ground contours; tines arranged in a spiral; and a spiral-profiled accelerator roller between the pick-up and the intake rotor. The latter is designed to spread incoming crop more evenly across the width of the rotor and slicing knives.
Bucket Grab from Albutt is a multi-purpose attachment combining the benefits of a bulk handling bucket and power grab for use with telescopic handlers and loaders. The heavy duty design is produced in several sizes to suit all machine types and applications and features grab tines manufactured from Hardox high-tensile steel, which weight-for-weight is 300% stronger than mild steel. They are therefore more resistant to bending and breakage; welding them in position means there is no maintenance requirement in the way that conventional tines must be kept tight in their bushes.
E-series backhoe-loaders and Cat 924H wheeled loader to agricultural specification make their Scotgrass debut with 6.6-litre, 143hp engine, four-speed torque converter transmission, front axle diff lock, 620/75R26 Trelleborg tyres and bucket/fork quick-attach system with hydraulic self-levelling and return-to-dig.
|Opico Sward-Slitter blade rotor.|
First working demonstration of soil aeration with Opico Sward Slitter, designed to remove surface compaction and capping, aerate the root zone to stimulate grass growth and encourage surface soil layer moisture evaporation for quicker spring drying and early grass growth. There are 2.9m and 2.5m widths with heavy duty frame and weight rack.
Sumo is exhibiting for the first time at Scotgrass with its new Grassland Subsoiler featuring slim tines and packer teeth behind each leg to close and firm the opening, plus a shark-fin packer designed for surface aeration across the full working width, and a scarifying harrow to remove dead vegetation.
Muck and Slurry
The Qualex Slurry Stopper is an air-inflatable bladder inserted into drains in areas exposed to potential slurry spillage or overflow. Sensors and an electrical control system inflate the bladders through a pneumatic feed line to seal the drains and prevent slurry entering ditches, water courses or drainage systems.
|BPI Visqueen Clingseal clamp undersheet.|
Visqueen Clingseal is a silage clamp sheet claimed to reduce spoilage, especially at the shoulders and across the top of grass and maize clamps. Used beneath a conventional clamp sheet, such as Visqueen Agri-S, the newcomer is thinner but more flexible and can more closely match the contours of the clamp’s surface. The net result of this, says BPI, is a closer-fitting air barrier with fewer air pockets that can lead to aerobic spoilage.