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New technology options for NH balers

Variable density control for round balers and IntelliCruise on big square balers

As New Holland marks its 120th birthday in 2015, one of the ways the brand is celebrating is by offering some new features on the trademark red balers that made the brand a household name in North America — and around the world. But this year, the focus is on adding some sophisticated new technology to the updated models it introduced in the last few years.

For those who opt for one of NH’s Roll-Belt Series round balers, they can get it equipped with an in-cab bale density adjustment feature. It allows the core size and density to be set independently of the outer layer. It’s either standard or optional, depending on which particular model you choose.

“Why is that important?” asked Mark Lowery, hay and forage marketing specialist, during a new-product launch at the company’s Pennsylvania headquarters in July. “There are two big reasons. The first is the ease of spearing that bale in the field and transport. And when feeding that bale, it’s a little easier for animals to break up that core, which tends to be pretty dense.”

“The next (reason) is if we are challenged by weather, I have the ability to lessen that core density pressure to let that bale breathe a bit more if I’m right on that border of acceptable moisture for dry hay. So, I have the opportunity to do that now for the first time with my New Holland round baler versus having a common density across that whole bale.”

All of those control functions are done via the in-cab monitor. So an operator doesn’t have to get out of the tractor, minimizing the amount of time it takes to make those adjustments.

“This provides me the ability to sit in the cab and change pressure at will,” said Lowery. “Throughout the day if my crop conditions are changing, I can simply change that pressure in the monitor versus going out and making a mechanical change on a valve on the baler.”

And adjustments to the bale density, along with any other baler settings, can be made through any ISOBUS-compatible virtual terminal in any tractor brand.

“We do have another control option for the round baler, which is ISOBUS, meaning if I have a late-model tractor with an ISOBUS plug and I have an existing tractor monitor I have the same sort of functionality,” said Lowery.

Large square balers

If you are a fan of large square balers, NH also introduced new technology for its offerings in that segment, too. Pair one of the brand’s big balers with a T7 AutoCommand tractor and the new IntelliCruise feature helps maximize tractor speed through the field in changing swath conditions. So even inexperienced operators can easily create bales with pretty consistent quality.

“The IntelliCruise speed rate control system allows me for the first time, with the New Holland big baler, to optimize tractor speed to give me the desired big bale package I’m looking for,” said Lowery. “That’s enabled through the ISOBUS class 3 functionality. Really, what that means is the tractor can take commands from the baler, in this case to regulate ground speed.”

IntelliCruise can be set to either of two different priorities. Using the Charge Control setting, it will keep the baler fed to capacity.

“I have the ability to set my maximum speed in the field, whatever the operator feels is safe,” explains Lowery. Then I’m going to set my capacity. That’s the efficiency at which the baler is working. Whenever I have an irregularly raked windrow or uneven yield in the field, the baler is going to see that based on the sensors at the bottom of the pre-charge chamber, and it’s going to regulate the tractor speed to keep that capacity. Essentially, I’m able to complete the field a lot faster using this feature. As an operator I can increase my efficiency using Charge Control about nine or 10 per cent versus just using constant speed.

When getting highly consistent bale size is more important than forcing the baler to gulp down the maximum amount of material in the shortest amount of time, the other setting, Slice Control, regulates tractor speed to ensure each new flake of material the plunger pushes into the bale chamber is evenly sized.

“(Uniform bale size) is also important to me if I’m picking it up with an automatic bale wagon to make sure I have the exact length,” says Lowery.

About the author

Machinery Editor

Scott Garvey is the machinery editor for Grainews.

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