As he begins describing the updated engineering built into the 560 Roll-Belt baler, New Holland’s crop packing equipment marketing manager Curtis Hoffman bends low and points out improvements to the redesigned pickup.
“You’ll notice we’re running a five-bar premium pickup now,” he explains. “We’re the only company in the industry right now with a five-bar pickup.”
Along with the extra, rubber-mounted, six millimetre tines mounted on sturdier components, the 560’s pickup has been re-engineered to accommodate the increased interest in baling biomass materials, like corn stover. The new open bottom design allows material that often gets caught, like cobs, to simply fall through and prevent plugging.
And the pickup width has increased. Not just to accomodate biomass crops, but to help hay and forage growers put up the best hay possible. “It’s the widest pickup in the industry,” Hoffman adds. “Wider is better because the crop mat is thinner when it comes in.”
Once the crop mat makes it past the pickup, it follows a new route over top of, rather than underneath, the all-new rotating mechanism that pushes it into the bale chamber, which now includes a new floor roller design. “The key difference for us is the weight of the bale is held on the floor roll, but the centre of gravity is behind the floor roll,” he says. “So I can shut the belts off, open the door up and the bale will roll right out.”
After the bale core is formed, sickle knives swing into place and slice the hay into seven-inch lengths as the bale builds.
“When it’s time to slice, after the core is made, the bale will roll against those sickle sections and cut itself,” says Hoffman. “Once the bale is at its maximum diameter, those knives will swing back out. You can leave a six or eight inch uncut section if you wrap with twine. (By cutting) you can actually pack more material into a bale, up to about 14 per cent more.”
And according to a university study, cut hay inside bales delivers better daily gains.
“It cuts down on the waste,” he continues. “(Normally) the cattle will pull mouthfuls of hay out of a feeder that are the width of a cow’s mouth and then some. (The extra) gets bitten off, falls beside the feeder and becomes bedding. It’s like slicing the apple into mini bites you can eat. We have a Penn State study showing there’s an average of 23 per cent more daily gain in yearling heifers by slicing up the crop.”
The connection points on the 560’s belts use a new, riveted splice, rather than the current pressed-in design that is common in balers across the industry.
“In the area where we splice, we have new alligator clips,” Hoffman says. “They’re riveted rather than a tooth-type lacing. The carcass on the belt is a lot tougher, too. It has three nylon layers. They’re also stiffer so they don’t curl when they run up against another belt. They run truer.”
560 balers equipped to make high-moisture silage bales get completely different, endless belts. “Those belts are stronger than a laced belt,” says Hoffman. “We offer a three-year, 15,000 bale warranty, we’re that confident about them.”
And if your tractor already has a built-in, ISOBUS-compatible monitor, there won’t be any need to add another one for the baler. The 560 Roll-Belt balers are fully ISOBUS compatible. Simply plug the baler’s electrical connection into the tractor and its functions show up on the main monitor.
“With that ISOBUS-compatible monitor you save space in the tractor,” he adds. “It’s using the tractor’s display monitor not requiring a second one for that round baler.”
“I’m happy to say this (ISOBUS) is now functioning in the real world, giving you all kinds of information right there on your SideWinder monitor,” adds Abe Hughes, II, vice-president of North American sales and marketing. “The best combination now is to pair up that NH baler with an NH tractor. It will be a perfect integration. If you start to pair it with other colours, it doesn’t have the maximum information and efficiency.
“I think with some of the electronic innovations we’ve seen in row-crop farming, they’re eventually going to become much more sophisticated even in making hay, where you’re actually now mapping where your best hay is coming from, the kind of hay you want to develop, and the kind of inputs you want to put into the field.” †