Kubota Canada Ltd. recently launched its new FastBale, a twin chambered baler and integrated wrapping system that allows an industry first: continuous baling with no stops for tie-off or bale discharge.
“I’d say this is a game changer,” says Travis Grubb, a Kubota Canada product specialist for hay tools and crop care. With our dual chamber system, you’re never stopping. Nothing else on the market compares.”
A twin chambered baler and integrated wrapping system allows continuous baling with no stops for tie-off or bale discharge.
Kubota Canada says the FastBale boasts some of the most significant innovations to baling since net wrap. Its twin bale chambers and wrapping system ramps up baling efficiency, bale uniformity and bale quality without stopping or allowing the bale to touch the ground prior to completing the process.
The FastBale was developed and built by the Kverneland Group, a Kubota subsidiary, at their facility in Ravenna, Italy. Selling under the Vicon banner, it is currently in its third year of commercial sales in the European market. Last year, in anticipation of rolling it out to Canadian producers, Kubota Canada tested the FastBale with commercial operators growing various crops in varying conditions from British Columbia to the Maritimes.
“Every time it beeped to transfer the bale, they’d go to the clutch and we’d say, ‘Nope, you don’t have to.’ You almost had to wipe the smile off their faces,” says Grubb.
The baler includes two bale chambers arranged in a series: a pre-chamber and a main chamber. The pre-chamber is two-thirds of the size of the main chamber, which allows the FastBale to create a highly compressed, dual density bale from a fixed chamber baler. This also makes the FastBale one of the most compact baler-wrapper combinations available.
The baling process starts with feeding crop into the pre-chamber using an 800-millimetre intake rotor equipped with a 25-knife chopping system. When the bale has achieved a set density in the pre-chamber, the crop flow and the bale are transferred to the main chamber.
Once the bale is complete, the crop flow is redirected back to the pre-chamber as the netting is applied to the complete bale. The bale in the main chamber is then ejected onto the wrapper where it is quickly wrapped and gently placed onto the ground with no rolling momentum. When the pre-chamber is full, the process repeats itself, allowing baling to continue uninterrupted.
The FastBale operates automatically with very little user interaction. That said, operators can control discharge when desired; for example, to keep bales in straight rows when driving around headlands.
Grubb estimates that eliminating stoppages to tie off and discharge bales increases the per hour capacity of a baler by 20 to 25 per cent, depending on the operator.
The FastBale is designed primarily for silage but offers cropping flexibility in that it is capable of baling hay or straw as well. Also, farmers have flexibility to choose how much they’d like the crop to be pre-processed.