Having been on tour all over the UK, a latest-generation 'demo' Claas Jaguar 970 forage harvester popped up here in Ireland during recent weeks - to tackle maize.
AgriLand watched it working in Co. Laois at an event hosted by Kellys of Borris.
The machine was faced with awkward conditions; it made light work of travelling through a storm-flattened crop. Working in the same field alongside was a Claas Jaguar 870 - owned by Quigley Agri-Contracting.
[caption id="attachment_204141" align="aligncenter" width="1016"] The 'demo' Claas Jaguar 970 being put through its paces in awkward conditions, filling one of Quigley Agri-contracting's trailers[/caption]
On this particular machine, tyres can be deflated upon entering a field and inflated on exit - to reduce compaction in the field and improve tyre life on the road. This is thanks to an on-board central tyre inflation system.
In the field, the 775hp harvester can swallow 12 rows of maize in each pass.
The harvester is home to a MAN V8 engine; because its output exceeds 560kW the machine is not subject to current emissions regulations.
An optical camera/sensor on the unloading chute makes for easier trailer filling.
One of the biggest talking points of this machine is its patented SHREDLAGE technology.
Lines angled in different directions across each roller (in the kernel processor or corn cracker) burst the cob and stem, when cutting maize. This, says Claas, results in better kernel damage - because the SHREDLAGE rollers tear the kernel rather than smashing it. The stalk is also shredded into strings.
Increased chopping can increase fibre digestibility and, in turn, increase the amount of starch available to the animal. At least this is what the manufacturer claims.
During a recent visit to Ireland, Prof. Bill Mahanna of DuPont Pioneer promoted the benefits that SHREDLAGE technology can have on diets, particularly in dairy cows as starch availability is increased.
In the same talk, Mahanna advised people not to over-roll the top of their maize silage pits, as this causes plant cells to open. The resulting release of moisture can cause spoilage in the top layer of the pit.
[also-read url="https://www.agriland.ie/farming-news/dont-over-pack-the-top-layer-of-your-maize-silage/" title="Why it’s important not to overpack the top layer of your maize silage pit"]