Next Thursday’s (7 April) Grassland UK event at the Bath and West Showground will give farmers and contractors their once-a-year chance to see all the latest grass machinery at work.
Expect lots of new machines and improvements from the manufacturers. JF-Stoll is the latest firm to announce a launch at the event – the R760 mid-sized rake, which is aimed at those with bigger trailed forage harvesters and big balers.
The R760 is a 6.85-7.6m centre-delivery rake based around a 3.2m rotor design with 12 tangentially arranged tine arms carrying four double tines per arm.
This is also the first mid-sized rake to share the bridge-type chassis design seen on previous wider rakes. This spreads the stresses of a long frame supporting heavy rotor heads in a much more stable manner than parallel frame designs, says the company, and gives greater under-frame clearance at the point where the swath is formed.
Automatic rear steering is standard and the rotors have a contour-hugging three-wheel bogie under the carriage.
The mechanical driveline from the tractor pto has been kept, but there are new rotor heads with replaceable cam bearings and tine arm bearing units. Transport width is 2.95m and overall height can be reduced by removing the top tine arms and placing them on the rear carrying sockets. Price is £16,840.
Pottinger, meanwhile, has announced that all its Torro forage wagons will now include the heavy-duty chopping unit used in the big Jumbo machines. The unit has a high-torque driveline that can cope with the toughest conditions, says the company.
British and Irish forage harvesting conditions are pretty much unique in the world, says the company, often involving one very large cut rather than the multiple cuts taken in continental Europe. So chopping units have to be extra tough.
The dimensions of individual knives have been increased by 20%, increasing durability in difficult conditions. A cleaning comb has been added, too. This hinged cleaner removes short material from between the blades every time the operator hydraulically lowers the blades. The idea is to prevent the build-up of grass between the knives and ensure they are working at their best.
The cleaning comb can be hinged clear of the knife bank, allowing full access for sharpening and maintenance.