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Making more of forage crops Forage specialist Krone announced new products and demonstrated its latest innovations at an exclusive Hungarian press event. David Williams was there. Acknowledging the challenges of the current agricultural machinery market, director of sales Martin Eying commented that Krone has been first in the market with many innovations and said family-ownership allows it to focus on the needs of close markets and respond quickly to user feedback.

Evolving demands The baler market is evolving constantly with challenges including greater variety of crops, the need for increased bale density, different shapes and sizes and chopping of material before it enters the bale chamber. To meet demand its range includes 26 round balers, 16 square balers and its most intriguing recent innovation - the Premos 5000, which harvests straw straight from the swath and converts it to straw pellets in the field. A lot of straw which could be used for fuel or bedding is left in the field because of the logistical difficulties of collecting and transporting baled straw, explained Krone. Straw pellets are very dense, clean and easily handled. Less storage is needed and they are dust free so have many advantages over straw bales. An established market for straw pellets is fuel use, as their calorific value is similar to wood pellets. However, production currently relies on straw bales being transported to processing plants for conversion. The average bale travels 40km before processing, making the process quite inefficient, argues Krone. The Premos 5000 solves this issue by creating pellets in the field.

Increased speed & density Reducing storage and handling of forage and straw is a priority for many users and Krone demonstrated its Big Pack HDP II baler, launched last summer, and claimed to produce the heaviest bales in the world.

Variable chopping New chopping technology was displayed and demonstrated for

p Krone’s PreChop in action on a Big Pack 1290 HDP XC baler at the event. Nominal chop length is 21mm and the company said benefits of pre-chopping include almost all the dust left in the field. The fine-chopped straw is ideal for bedding or feed. u PreChop was developed in 2006, and is available for Big Pack 1270XC, 1290XC and 1290HDP XC models. Active Pick-Up was added in 2014. Spinning at 3,000rpm, 96 blades draw the crop through two rows of 47 stationary counter-blades into the intake space, and to the rotor cutter. The pre-cutter is easily lifted clear of the swath when not needed, or removed altogether. A drawbar-mounted intermediate gearbox engages and disengages the PreChop cutter blades and a start assist feature staggers engagement of the baler and chopper drives.

the first time. The VariCut header is compatible with Big Pack 1270 VC and 1290 HDP VC models and has 51 blades - offering six chop variations. The main advantage over the current X-Cut system is greater ease of use, and reduced service and maintenance.

Management efficiency Responding to market demands for efficient data management, Krone displayed its new SmartConnect control box, which has multiple communication functions but also provides an i-Pad link through the new CCI Control mobile app. The app’s main screen shows all relevant data menus and is used to access a job logger to keep track of task progress and planned activities. The operator can add comments and photographs while the task is in progress and job data can be exported direct to the farm office. Live-View provides live operating data, including machine performance and condition. CCI Control provides customer data including field locations and boundaries, making it easy for the owner and user to ensure work is progressing in the intended area. The

p Several models from Krone’s round baler range were displayed and demonstrated from the popular entry-level Bellima F125, producing bales of 1.2m diameter, to the revolutionary Ultima non-stop baler wrapper with its semi-variable chamber.

operator can also use the device to make direct contact with the farmer, reducing unproductive time. Krone UK product and marketing manager James Duggleby said the point is being reached where machinery can’t physically get much bigger, so to meet the demand for ever increasing efficiency, Krone is looking at maximising the performance of individual components and making sure machines are reliable and comfortable to use. “Improved design and new features minimise down time and result in happy, relaxed operators,” he said.

Despite its advanced features and performance, Krone’s Ultima is very user-friendly. Rolls of bale wrap are easily loaded and access for More over page... maintenance is excellent.

46 www.farmersguide.co.uk August 2016

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August 2016  

Farmers Guide Magazine August 2016 Issue