Lely now offers a self-loading trailed wrapper capable of handling any size or shape of bale – as long as it doesn’t exceed 1.5 (5ft) in length. A fully automated process, the Goweil G3030’s wrapping produce varies bed belt speed, rotating the bale to ensure film is applied evenly over bale corners and sides. The unit is claimed to be capable of pumping out 70-80 bales/hour – it costs £20,000.
Niemeyer grassland kit is available once more, but it has had a name change. The Ziegler Powerdisc 255 is a lightweight 2.5m (8ft) mower/conditioner aimed at the smaller farmer. Costing 9300, it requires a tractor of 90hp to operate effectively.
Alongside all the monster muscle lined up on the John Deere plot an old favourite made an appearance. This 2850 is equipped with the company’s universal Autotrac steering system which is now available for nearly any make, model or age of machine. By fitting a boss and electric motor to the tractor’s steering column and a GPS receiver on the roof the operator gains fully-automated steering with a basic accuracy of +/-30cm for just over 9000.
The event provided the first opportunity for customers to see Strautmann forage wagons working. The Giga Vitesse II will carry about 13t of grass when rammed full, costs 53,616 and requires a tractor of 165hp to pull it. In the last year Strautmann UK reports that it has sold over 30 wagons, mainly to farmers wanting to take control of their own silage-making operations and reduce the process’ labour requirement.
Wondering what to do with that pile of unwanted ex-silage clamp tyres in the light of the imminent Agricultural Waste Regs? Thomas and Fontaine’s Secure Blocker is one answer. It turns 100 old car tyres into a 1.7m long, 1.4m wide, 0.7m deep compressed and steel-wired bale weighing 1t that is Environment Agency approved for engineering works like making hard standing areas, gateways, silage clamps and retaining walls.
Visitors to the Claas stand got a glimpse of the firm’s latest 330hp Xerion working with a set of triple mowers. The cab pivots 180 deg from a forward-facing position for transport to face out over the mowers for work in reverse-drive mode. The Disco 8550 FC mower-combination covers a working width of 8.3m and the whole rig lists at a whopping 196,255.
Swapping a front mower from one tractor to another can be tricky, as differing front linkage heights can upset the cutting height geometry. But Austrian maker Pottinger says the new Alpha Motion system on its Novacat 306 mower means it can fit any tractor from 80-300hp. There’s 700mm of up-and-down movement and 16deg side-to-side to cope with undulating ground and the whole unit is kept well damped by two meaty springs on top.
Aitchison displayed its SimTech T-SEM drill. Based on the original New Zealand concept, the new unit is built by French company Techmagri and is claimed to be capable of sowing any type of seed – from clover to maize – into any surface – from ploughed ground to grass ley. Heavy pig-tail tines carry trademark Aitchison coulters which create an inverted T-shaped slot. Ahead of this a set of plain discs slice through surface trash and sprung press rings follow to provide a consolidation effect. With 100hp required up front the 3m T-SEM costs 11,500.
Latest addition to Reco’s Fella line-up is the 3m Turbolift SM 310 mower. Rather than pivoting on a hinge-point close to the tractor, the mower hangs on a central mounting point connected to the headstock by a rearwards-swinging arm. This is said to give a “pendulum” effect which, in combination with hydro-pneumatic suspension, allows the bed to follow contours more accurately. It also means the unit lifts in a vertical plane for headland turnarounds, avoiding disturbing the swath around the edge of the field. Available with optional conditioner unit and belt swath grouper, prices start from 7790.
This 7.8m wide model is the biggest of Krone’s new 2-Series mounted tedder range. The main change from the existing machines is on the maintenance front. Instead of a crown wheel/pinion system that had to be greased, the driveline is now oil-immersed and sealed. The UJ’s have gone on the pivot points, too, and have been replaced with an easy-to-grease intermeshing-finger drive. Prices range from 3720-9975.
Vicon has developed a low-spec, low power-requirement triple mower for customers who need a basic, high-output machine. The CM908 consists of three 2.9m plain drum mowers which, with overlaps, will cut 8.5m of grass in one swipe. Minimum tractor size is said to be 110hp and with 140hp, the unit can be run at about 13kph (8mph). The rig costs 26,000 – a modest sum compared to the firm’s triple disc mower/conditioner which totals 35,000.
As farmers and contractors travel ever longer distances – and at higher road speeds – the strain on machines like big rakes in transport can be considerable. With that in mind, JF’s latest M860 rake has a humpback profile rather than the usual straight one to give maximum strength during transport. Other changes include an uprated gearbox for higher forward speeds, fully-sealed cam-track and a crank on the previously straight tines to get them out of work quicker at row-ends.