Variable chamber balers have something of a reputation for not being able to cope with Irish conditions, although that perception is gradually changing according to the trade.
New Holland may well have added further to the case for this type of machine with its latest model, the Pro-Belt round baler.
Heavy duty for heavy use
The company claims that it has been developed to meet the specific needs of contractors and farmers who clock up a high number of bales annually.
Dependability is a key factor, and it is suggested that being a heavy duty machine, it is able to cope with conditions outside of the normal harvesting window.
One of the key attractions of a belt baler is that the crop is compressed uniformly throughout bale formation, which, in theory, results in a more consistent bale that holds its shape and promotes more efficient fermentation, and thus the retention the of nutrients.
It is noted that the baler has been developed after extensive testing on a global basis and has been used to produce 150,000 bales during this process.
Farmers who participated in the trials expressed the performance characteristics they considered of fundamental importance to the baling operation.
These included crop versatility, capacity, bale density and bale appearance. This latter being of great relevance when handling bales either in the field or when it comes to feeding out.
The new baler has been developed with reliability and durability in mind. It has a split gearbox for mechanical efficiency and robustness, with fewer but stronger components and moving parts.
The 520mm-diameter rotor is said to be sturdier in design and, in combination with the active drop floor, it provides constant feedback to the operator
Variable chamber packs more product
New Holland tells us that it performs equally well in silage and dry straw, producing a consistently high bale density and well formed, firm bales for easier handling and stacking.
It has a claimed capacity up to 30t/hour and 140kg/m³ in straw, allowing fields to be baled quicker with less time spent wrapping and transporting back to the yard.