Sugar beet harvest has traditionally required a high number of workers and machines, but that’s changing with innovation in machinery, including the design of self-propelled sugar beet harvesters.
Grimme’s special edition Blackhawk Rexor beast was on display at Agritechnica — the world’s largest ag trade show in Germany earlier this month.
In this video, Grimme’s Roland Kratz explains how the multi-stage 2.7m wide header defoliates, scalps, digs and partially cleans the sugar beets before they pass the harvester’s front axle.
“The big advantage with these self-propelled machines versus the trailed machines is that we have these high flotation tires that can really go in wet conditions with hardly any soil compaction,” he says, noting the harvester will pile beets at the end of a field, reducing truck traffic on the land.
On 22-inch row spacing, the header can harvest eight rows, while the 625hp, three-axle Rexor 630 has bunker capacity for 30 tonnes of beets for a loaded weight of around 60 tonnes. The Blackhawk version displayed at Agritechnica featured a black paint scheme with the same 30t hopper and capacity as the existing 630.
With a price tag of approximately 5,000,000 Euros, he says a new Rexor can be justified with 500 hectares of sugar beet production (~1,200 acres).
Grimme is the parent company of Spudnik, a well-known brand of potato equipment in North America. Kratz suggests North American sugar beet growers contact a Spudnik dealer for more information on the self-propelled harvester.