By Gene Johnston and Courtney Love
At the Cattle Industry Convention last week in New Orleans, well-known equipment brands, including John Deere, Case IH, and New Holland, debuted the latest forage equipment and technology that helps beef producers be more productive.
New add-ons help smaller farms
Case IH has added several upgrades to one of their most economical round balers, the model RB456A. This baler is used primarily for small and mid-size operations as it only requires a 45-pto hp. tractor and makes 4 by 5 foot bales.
“We’ve widened the pickup by 30% over the previous model, now measuring 60.5 inches from twine to twine,” says Brian Spencer, hay and forage marketing manager at Case IH. “The RB456A can handle wider windrows without more gathering wheels. Plus, the wrapping system has been upgraded to the same as our bigger balers.”
The new model has six belts to apply pressure and control bale density and shape. The baler also has a moisture sensor option.
“This baler is targeted to producers who typically make 1,000 bales per year or less,” Spencer adds. “The base starting price is about $35,000, perhaps less with incentives. It’s a great value for the smaller operator, and what makes it attractive is the low horsepower requirement for operation.”
Gain a better understanding of your bales
In 2018, John Deere designed the Bale Mobile App to collect the moisture and weight of bales made by round balers, but John Deere has updated its technology for farmers use on their large high-density square balers.
As the baler moves across the field, sensors detect data points that communicate with the app, which informs the farmer of bale quality. The app lets the farmer know whether they should continue baling in the field. Then, in the post-harvest season, farmers can use the analysis to optimize their field inputs or use it as support when asking for a premium price for quality hay.
More dense bales and trouble-free maintenance
New Holland showcased its Pro-Belt Round Bale Series, introduced to farmers last year. The models include the Pro-Belt 450 SuperFeed, Pro-Belt 460 SuperFeed, Pro-Belt 450 CropCutter, and Pro-Belt 460 CropCutter. Each model uses all the popular mechanics of the company’s standard round baler but has improved upon the baler’s ability to be long-lasting in the field with a thicker steel body and better bearings.
Each model also includes New Holland’s cutting-edge bale wrap technology, EdgeWrap, which has a shorter net path into the chamber for even faster wrapping of bales to help them retain their shape and protect them from the elements. The 450 SuperFeed and 450 CropCutter make bales that are 4 by 5.5 foot. The 460 models make bales that are about 4 by 6.25 foot. A unique feature of the CropCutter is a rotor cut design with 25 knives that cut the stem length of forage hay shorter so that there is more crop within one bale. Every model of the series also has automated greasing and oil capacity for optimal care of all its nuts and bolts.