In 2015 John Deere introduced its first large square balers built entirely in-house, the L300 Series. For 2018 those balers get an update, and two new models, the L331, which makes a 3′ x 3′ bale, and the L341, which builds a 3′ x 4′ bale, will take their place in the Deere haying equipment lineup.
The changes begin up front with the redesigned MegaWide pickups available in 2.2 and 2.5 metre widths. Deere claims this design is much sturdier than those on the previous models, with beefed-up undershot rotor, roller bafflers and gauge wheels. There are two configurations for the pre-cutter version with 13 or 21 knives. The pickups also get a drop floor and slide-out tray for easier clean outs.
To allow the operator to clear plugs without even leaving the cab, the BaleAssist option debuts on these machines. BaleAssist earned Deere an AE50 engineering award from the ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) this year.
“In addition, this feature makes it easier for operators to access service points inside the baler and improve overall operational control and maintenance,” said Travis Roe, senior marketing representative for large square balers, in a press release.
And there are new electric knotters that make for more consistent bale lengths. There is also a new moisture-sensing feature, which Deere claims is 33 per cent more accurate than competitors’ offerings. Add to that a new bale weighing option that gives a flake-by-flake readout.
The new balers are now available, which means they’re ready for the 2018 haying season. And also in time for this season Deere has replaced its 9 Series round balers with the new 0 Series, which includes a total of eight models.
The 0 Series will also offer pre-cutter models, including a five-foot version and what Deere says is the first Class VI 5 x 6 pre-cutter round baler. These machines get the brand’s MegaWide HC2 feeder system that includes a larger diameter roller baffle system; twin-rotor feed system for more uniform hay intake and processing; a self-cleaning drop floor that allows the operator to remove plugs from the cab; and a third drive roll that eliminates belt slippage when baling heavy, wet silage bales, reducing premature wear on belts and drive rolls.
To help speed up bale retrieval, Deere has also introduced the new A520R and A420R Plus2 Accumulators, which are fully compatible with the design of the new balers. They can also be used with 6-foot diameter John Deere 7, 8 and 9 Series Round Balers.