December 7 2013 Latest news:
firstname.lastname@example.org, Agricultural editor
Saturday, October 19, 2013
One of the country’s two new high-capacity forage harvesters was cutting energy maize for the first time in Norfolk.
The Katana 65 from Fendt was at Hall Farm, Tunstead as Alistair Duffield’s crop was heading to the AD plant at nearby Scottow.
It was one of two machines, which have been working in Scotland and the West Country, said Adam Inward, who is Fendt product manager at Attleborough and Sculthorpe for agricultural engineers Thurlow Nunn Standen.
The machine, which would cost about £255,000 including the grass and maize header, has had a good season in grass.
“The chop quality is superb. We’re aiming at a chop of under 5mm and about 4mm. It seems they like it the shorter the better for AD production,” said Mr Inward.
With the number of anaerobic digestion plants proposed or under construction, this machine has shown what it can do,” said Mr Inward. “The forager market is very competitive with Krone, Claas, New Holland and now Fendt, which is renowned for quality and precision of manufacturing. When Fendt brings out something different, it raises eyebrows,” he added.
The Katana 65, powered by a 650 horsepower engine, had a Kemper header, said Martin Mills, Fendt’s product manager for the south west.
“I’ve had the machine working in maize for the past couple of weeks; the drivers seem to like it,” he said.
As crops have been variable, he suggested that typical outputs were in excess of 40 to 50 acres a day but in larger fields, with plenty of trailer back-up, then the machine could be even more productive, said Mr Mills.
The Katana had an eight-row header but could easily handle 10 rows, he added.
The driver, contractor’s son, Andy Davies, from Shropshire, said that the variable chop length was another advantage. It could chop between 3.7mm and 7.4mm but was achieving sub-4mm without any problems. At Tunstead, it was running comfortably at 1800 rpm at 7.1 km an hour. On the return leg in the field, in a much thicker crop, it maintained consistent chop length although the engine was more heavily engaged.
After graduating from Harper Adams with a degree in engineering, he has been spending the past few weeks demonstrating the machine.
Mr Mills said that for AD customers, it was essential to get good cracking of the maize cobs too. “We’ve got very uniform chops, very little leaf – incredibly important for AD. In the West Country, for maize silage, farmers sometimes wanted crop lengths of up to 12mm to 14m in order to achieve more rapid harvesting, he added.
The Katana’s engine, mounted in line, has insured better cooling and also significantly improved visibility over the back. He also said that a new 85 model was set to be launched at Agritechnika in Germany next month.
As part of the demonstration, two of a new design of specialist trailers from Fliegl, were also being demonstrated. The two models, 30 cu metre or 45cm, had lighter-weight aluminium sides, to ensure as big a payload as possible. The twin-axle models, which weighed about 6.5 tonnes, with push-off design, were designed to take 40pc more load than a conventional heavy-duty trailer. Europe’s largest trailer manufacturer has identified Britain’s expanding AD market as an opportunity.
Mr Inward said that contractor Charles Beales, based at Great Ellingham, near Hingham, had brought two tractors and trailers to deliver the chopped product to Scottow.
James Thurlow, managing director of the long-established engineers, TNS, said: “It looks to be a good bit of kit. I’ve never seen it working – seems to be doing a reasonable job.”
He had brought along a special Challenger for the demonstration, painted as a Viper.
“It is the only one in the world,” said Mr Thurlow, who said that there was growing interest in tracked machines from farmers in Norfolk. “We sell between 15 to 20 track machines a year,” he said.
Since moving into Norfolk with an enhanced presence, he had been very pleased with the response. “We’re very pleased, really we’re very pleased with the performance of Norfolk.
“We’ve got some lovely products – Sumo, a market leading brand, Fendt, Massey and Challenger,” he said. The motor business, which bought two sites in Norwich last year, was about to move into Milton Keynes by the end of the year.
n He was also delighted to have bought a tractor from Roger Desborough’s collection for £3,700. The 1932 International McCormick Deering 10-20, of which more than 216,000 were produced from 1923, had been supplied by Geo Thurlow & Sons, of Stowmarket. It had steel wheels.
Two hundred jobs are set to be created after one of west Norfolk’s largest businesses was granted permission to expand its King’s Lynn facilities.