Satellite navigation systems to be hit by millennium-type bug
By Andy Collings
A MILLENNIUM-TYPE bug is due to affect the satellite navigation system on Saturday as the system reaches its 20th anniversary.
At midnight the systems clocks will shut down and restart at zero.
But there is no reason for those using GPS for yield mapping purposes to be alarmed, insists Massey Ferguson.
According to the companys product marketing manager, (harvesting machinery) Peter Hart, midnight will see GPS systems registering a loss of signal. "This should only last for about 20 minutes," he says. "They should then re-energise and start behaving normally."
Mr Hart reports there to be about 600 yield mapping systems in use throughout Europe – 270 of them in the UK.
"The vast majority of these are of the later type – not the old base station system – and should suffer no effects from Saturdays events," he says. "The only point we are not sure about is that if the combine is shut down on Saturday night, whether the GPS system will need a few minutes to latch on to the satellites when combining resumes." *
Case sees UK market for high-clearance sprayer
A NEW high clearance self-propelled sprayer is now available from Case which provides a ground clearance of 1.2m (4ft).
Designed primarily for the mainland Europe market, Case believes there could be a demand for the machine in the UK where tall crops are grown.
The SP2500 and its larger brother, the SP3000, offer boom width of up to 24m and adjustable track widths up to 2.1m. Power is provided by a 6-cylinder turbocharged Cummins engine rated at 152hp driving through a four-wheel drive hydrostatic transmission.
Features include hydraulic folding and self-levelling suspended boom geometry capable of hydraulic tilt for hillside work.
As might be expected on machines of this scale, spray controls are automatically speed related with speed area, output and tank level continually monitored. Spraying data can be recorded and down loaded for future reference on the farms PC. GPS compatible controls are available if specified.
Prices of the SP2500 and SP3000 are to be announced. *
Higher sides raise grass feed capacity
AN 8t feeder for feeding fresh, unchopped grass has been introduced by Cheshire-based Zero Farm Systems.
Built with simplicity in mind, the design of the new machine is based on the companys 5t Hi-Feeder model but has higher sides to increase capacity.
Improvements include the use of a heavy duty rubber curtain instead of a metal delivery door – the latter prone to damage if left in the down position during feeding.
Other changes include three, rather than two, rotors to provide an even and more controlled discharge of grass as it travels along feed passages.
The key to the design, says the company, is the lack of moving parts reducing subsequent wear and maintenance.
Instead of tines or bed chains, the feeder uses a hydraulic tipping belly which empties grass onto the three slow rotating rotors.
The tipping belly design is also claimed to increase capacity and provide a lower centre of gravity – although high enough for feeding over troughs 1.32m (4.5ft) high.
Derived from the existing portable bunker feeder, the machine is filled directly by the Zero twin drum mower in the field.
During mowing, both machines are connected to a single hydraulically offset drawbar. After filling, the mower is uncoupled, left in the field and the feeder towed back to the farm for immediate feeding.
The mower has a 2.3m (7ft) cutting width and uses a forager-type blower to discharge unchopped grass through a chute over the side of the feeder.
Requiring 85hp plus, the feeder is priced at £12,800. *
Designed to unroll and feed round bales of hay or silage weighing up to 1t, this tractor-mounted unit from Kuhn Farm Machinery employs a hydraulic motor to distribute fodder to one side of the machine. Bales are loaded onto the machine through use of a hydraulic arm. Overall width is 2.55m – a width which can be reduced by 20cm by offsetting the machine. Price of the Deruban, as Kuhn calls it, is £3280 complete with loading arm.