Although the eagerly awaited Grassland and Muck event is one more casualty of the current situation, manufacturers have a host of new kit ready for the season. Jane Carley takes a look at new grassland equipment developments.
Claas’ Jaguar TT is the first self-propelled forage harvester to be available with a factory-integrated crawler track system with hydraulic suspension.
Two Jaguar models are available with the Terra Trac system; the new top-of-the-range 925hp Jaguar 990TT and the 653hp Jaguar 960TT.
Tests conducted by Kiel University of Applied Sciences, Germany have confirmed that even when the system is used with the narrowest track version (635 mm wide), the resulting contact area of more than 1.3sq.m is over twice that provided by 800-size tyres. Two other track variants with widths of 735 mm and 890 mm are also available.
The pivoting mounting system allows the crawler track units to pivot upwards by 10 degrees and downwards by 13 degrees, for more challenging conditions.
When fitted with 635mm wide tracks the Jaguar Terra Trac remains within an external width of three metres; with 890mm tracks, overall machine width is 3.5m. The suspended chassis enables a top speed of up to 40kph.
Fendt’s Katana 650 self-propelled forage harvester, replacing the outgoing 65, will be available to test drive this summer for delivery in 2021.
The Katana 650 offers an additional 25 horsepower to bring the existing MTU six-cylinder in-line engine, up to 650hp overall, plus a new intake and processing system which improves crop flow and increases cutting capacity.
Fendt’s ‘BalancedGrip’ all-wheel drive system provides greater stability in undulating fields, taking data from a gyroscope and detecting the weight transfer on all corners of the harvester to manage which wheels power should be sent to.
Two new roller conditioners, new crackers that allow a cut length to 30mm, and an enlarged 300mm roll diameter have increased crop flow capacity by 21per cent.
New service openings give direct access to the knives and Fendt has also introduced a new knife sharpening system that adjusts continuously to reduce wear and provide a smoother, more consistent chop.
John Deere has updated its 8000 and 9000 series self-propelled forage harvesters with AHC (Active Header Control), offering active lateral tilt float which allows the header to freely float over the ground when lowered, but centres and locks itself for transport.
A new multifunction operating lever is tilted further forward by 15 degrees and fits more comfortably in the driver’s hand, resulting in easier changes between forward and reverse.
The firm’s Remote Display Access for all ‘i’-specification packages is now free of charge for the first five years. This provides customers with wireless connection in the field and enables data exchange with any mobile computers and smartphones, as well as the farm office via JDLink Connect. In addition, compatibility between the MyJohnDeere.com platform and other systems has been extended.
Pottinger has made a number of updates to its Jumbo forage wagon, including a new seven-row pick-up equipped with 6mm thick Durastar tines. The floating pick-up with cam control tracks at either end combines high intake with maximum reliability, even in difficult harvesting conditions, says the company.
An optional Superlarge pick-up with a collection width of 2.36m features hydraulic folding jockey wheels, reducing transport width to 2.55m. The firm’s Powermatic Plus loading system features a rotor with eight rows of tines arranged in a helix to take the crop consistently from the pick-up, even with a wet and short crop, through the 3mm short-chop chopping system.
To reduce the power requirement during loading, the scraper floor has been lowered by 150mm. When loading begins, a pack of forage forms at the front-end of the loading chamber, and is then drawn continuously backwards by the scraper floor. It is also lifted upwards as it is drawn backwards so that the crop fills up the loading chamber evenly.
Pottinger’s Autocut fully automatic sharpening system is now adjusted by selecting the sharpening cycle on the control terminal, and the Easy Move swing-out knife bank hinges out the chopping system hydraulically for quick knife changes.