John Deere accumulator brings strategy to baling


John Deere unveiled two models of round bale accumulators and a new series of precutter round balers last week, at the Farm Progress Show (FPS) in Decatur, Illinois.

Round bale accumulators

Among the most talked about new releases at FPS, the A520R and A420R Plus2 round bale accumulators allow baler operators to carry and drop up to three bales at a time.

Strategically placed bales mean fewer trips over the field, in turn saving labor and fuel costs and reducing wheel traffic.

DYK: Though relatively new to the North American, ‘big bale’ market (there’s no shortage of farm-built creations), accumulators have been used in small square bale production for decades. And, in 2010, Danish company Fasterholt unveiled its RB3 bale accumulator (shown above) at the Agromek Show in Herning, Denmark. Photo: Fasterholt

“The use of round bale accumulators has shown to reduce bale retrieval time by up to 50 percent while significantly reducing crop damage, soil compaction, fuel consumption, and labor and operator fatigue associated with collecting individual bales scattered across the field,” says Nick Weinrich, product marketing manager for hay tools. “In real terms, that’s almost $1 savings per bale.”

Back in the 1990s, John Deere developed something called the 20 Accumulator, which held two bales in a small trailer behind the baler. But, the design had its pitfalls. It was difficult to see, and added another pivot point, which made turning and backing up extremely difficult.

Unlike its ancestor, the Plus 2 Accumulator is fully integrated into the baler, eliminating the difficulties with a second pivot point. In addition, it can fold to the width of the baler for transport, and, since it sits perpendicular to the baler, it is easy to see when in operation.

John Deere’s new accumulators take about six to eight hours to install, and are compatible with the 7, 8, 9 and 0 series round balers with jumbo tires and a mega-wide pickup. As the accumulators are powered by hydraulics, tractors will need at least three selective control valves (SCVs).

The accumulators will be available for the 2018 haying season.

New 0 Series Round Balers

Like the 9 Series unveiled in 2015, John Deere’s 0 Series precutter balers offer operators the option to pre-process feed with 13- or 25-knife configurations.

“It is the first North American built and designed round bale precutter, made in Ottumwa, Iowa,” says Glenn Padgett, senior marketing representative with John Deere. “It’s also the first five-foot, fully pre-cutting round baler offered in the industry.”

Continues below video.

“The new 0 Series Round Balers expand our portfolio of hay and silage, and now precutter balers, for our North American customers,” says Nick Weinrich, product marketing manager for hay tools for John Deere. “In fact, the 0 Series Baler line includes the highest capacity Class II and III precutter round balers on the market today, and we’ll offer customers the first Class IV 5×6-foot (1.52 m x 1.82 m) precutter round baler available.”

John Deere’s 560R, outfitted with the new round bale accumulator. Photo: Kelvin Heppner, 2017.

The 0 Series is made up of eight models, including two economy models for dry hay baling (440E and 450E); and six dry hay, silage or precutter options (450M, 460M, 550M, 560M and two premium models: 460R and 560R).

The series offers new features like the MegaWide HC2 feed system, which allow for faster hay intake and processing, and improved utilization of a variety of forage swaths. The precutter balers are also outfitted with a larger diameter roller baffle system; a twin-rotor feed system; a third drive roll to eliminate belt slippage and reduce premature wear; and a self-cleaning drop floor (so operators can remove plugs from the cab).

“The 0 Series Round Balers are engineered and built to produce consistently dense hay throughout the bale and provide greater uptime in the field. Tests have shown a significant increase in bale density and precut bales can greatly reduce or eliminate mixer/grinder time when making feed rations,” adds Weinrich. “Like the 9 Series before, these new balers will set the standard for durability, field performance and hay quality.”

The 0 Series, like the bale accumulators, will be available for the 2018 haying season.

Find more from the Farm Progress Show here.

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