WHILE performance, reliability, ease of maintenance, service life and cost are always top of mind when choosing fodder harvesting machinery, the production of high quality fodder should be the focus.
CLAAS Harvest Centre Greenline Product Specialist, Blair McAlwee, says the end goal should always be the starting point when making purchasing decisions.
“The provision of high quality fodder – dry matter, energy, protein, fibre – drives livestock health and performance, and ultimately, farm profitability,” he says. “One of the foundations of producing quality fodder is reducing contamination during harvesting operations.”
According to a survey conducted by UK farm machinery magazine, Profi, raking accounts for nearly half the soil contamination in fodder (46%), followed closely by mowing (40%) and tedding (14%).
“This survey shows the first things that producers and contractors should consider are those design features that directly contribute to keeping fodder clean at every step of the harvesting process,” Blair says. “This is where CLAAS ‘Greenline’ forage harvesting technology comes into its own. Each machine is purpose-designed to contribute to clean and efficient harvesting, and in turn, laying the foundation for the next successful harvest by protecting pastures and ground cover. Every single model incorporates a host of clever innovations that are designed for top performance, easy day-to-day operation and a long working life.”
The DISCO mower range includes more than 40 front, rear and side mounted mowing units from 2.45 to 3.8 metres and combinations to 10.7 m.
All of the larger models are equipped with the award-winning MAX CUT cutterbar and ACTIVE FLOAT suspension.
Pressed from a single piece of steel, the unique wave-shaped design enables the cutting discs to be placed further forwards, improving cutting quality in all conditions.
“The special shape of the skids and the large channel between them provides a high degree of self-cleaning,” Blair says. “The bolted design of the mower bed and permanent lubrication of all drive components simplify maintenance and guarantee dimensional stability and longevity.”
ACTIVE FLOAT integrated hydraulic suspension ensures mowers adapt perfectly to any ground contour.
“The suspension pressure can be adjusted during operation using a single-acting hydraulic service,” Blair says. “There is minimal ground pressure when the floatation pressure is correctly set, which reduces skid wear, dirt contamination of the forage as well as reducing fuel consumption."
The new MOVE front mower is equipped with a new design headstock that provides up to one metre of ‘give’ vertically and up to 30 degrees laterally, allowing the mower to work with optimal efficiency and safety in even the roughest of paddocks.
Available in 3 and 3.4 m models, these new configurations feature a highly manoeuvrable headstock that allows the mower to move independently from the tractor front linkage.
Tedding also has an important role to play in optimising forage quality by quickening drying time and reducing contamination.
CLAAS VOLTO tedders are available in 13 trailed and mounted models from 5.5 to 13 m.
All models incorporate the MAX SPREAD crop flow concept and ground contour tracking.
“Compared to conventional tedding systems, MAX SPREAD causes the spreading arms to work considerably longer in the direction of travel, thereby increasing crop pick-up,” Blair says. “The tines distribute the crop evenly right across the maximum operating width, regardless of the working speed. This allows higher travel speeds and higher performance, and thanks to the lower engine speed, reduced fuel consumption. The crop flows between the rotors in almost straight lines, which means even leafy crops such as lucerne can be tedded without any problems.”
CLAAS LINER swathers are available in 20 different trailed and mounted models, with single, twin or quad-rotors that achieve operating widths from 3.5 to 15 metres.
“Each rotor is free to move independently of the chassis and is mounted to four or six wheels, allowing three-dimensional tracking over uneven ground,” Blair says. “Larger twin rotor models also feature a floating rotor suspension, which means the tines always stay parallel to the ground, ensuring raking remains clean at any speed. This innovative design allows the rotors to adapt to any ground contour, ensuring a clean raking performance and high feed quality.”