How much time would it save in a day if you didn’t have to stop to eject a full bale when round baling? Engineers at Vermeer think it would save a lot, so they’ve been working on developing a model that will start forming a new bale while simultaneously ejecting a completed one. Working in partnership with European haying equipment manufacturer Lely Group, Vermeer currently has a prototype baler undergoing field trials.
“When operators must stop and wait for each bale to eject, that eats up a lot of time that, when you add it all up, could be devoted to another field or another task,” said Jason Andringa, president of forage and environmental solutions at Vermeer Corporation. “Continuous baling will help operators become more productive, so they can produce the same, if not more, bales in the same amount of time, and with fewer balers and operators in the field.”
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A company press release claims the continuous round baler (CRB) prototype uses “A simple, yet innovative design (that) allows the CRB concept machine to shape two bales simultaneously. As the first bale nears its desired size, it is guided back toward the bale ramp. At the same time, the next bale begins to take shape near the feed intake. Once the finished bale is ejected, the next bale moves into the main chamber for completion. This process is repeated continuously until the job is done.”
Both Vermeer and Lely Group see a large potential market, expecting farmers all over the world to be interested in the productivity gains the CRB concept offers.
“No matter where you are, there is a certain window of opportunity to perform baling and forage harvesting to create the right feed for cattle,” said van der Lely, CEO of Lely Group. “The continuous round baler allows you to bale more bales, with the right quality, in the narrow window of opportunity you have.”
No official market release date has yet been announced, but the company says field trials on the prototype are going well.