Major-brand manufacturers don’t often debut new machines at Canadian farm shows. But New Holland has chosen to introduce new combines at Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina a couple of times now, which, according to executives, is an indication of how much attention they are paying to the small-grains harvesting market unique to Western Canada and the Northern Plains.
This year the brand pulled the wraps off its range of CX8 conventional combines in Regina, showing off the new flagship CX8.90 class 8 model. Not only are the two CX8 models designed specifically for harvesting small grains, but as straw walker machines they are gentler on the straw, making them attractive to mixed farmers who want to follow behind the combine with a baler.
“This is a small but significant market for customers who are looking to harvest straw as well as grain,” said Nigel MacKenzie, New Holland’s marketing manager for combines and headers, during an event at the company’s corporate headquarters in Pennsylvania in July. “They tend to be in mixed farming areas or, alternatively, where a farmer can sell that straw. It’s a little gentler on the straw but not quite as efficient in terms of capacity as a rotary combine.”
The two CX8 models (class 7 and 8 machines) offer similar grain tank capacities — around the 350 bushel mark. But the bigger brother gets 89 more horsepower, hitting a rating of 490. The biggest header available is 41 feet.
Down deep in the chassis, the CX8 models use the brand’s Opti-Clean cleaning shoe system, which was originally introduced on the large rotary. The company claims it offers a 20 per cent cleaning improvement over previous designs because of the longer sieve stroke and steeper throwing angle, keeping material airborne for longer to enhance cleaning.
To minimize the risk of blowing kernels out the back, the Opti-Fan automatically adjusts its speed to compensate for inclines. It slows if the combine is moving uphill and accelerates on downhill tracks. The six Opti-Speed straw walkers do the same to keep material moving at an optimum rate to reduce losses regardless of the field terrain.
A new rotary
If you want to harvest small grains and still have your heart set on a rotary, NH has something new for you consider there too. It is introducing the CR8.90 Elevation, another class 8 model which is a little different from the existing CR8.90 that is built in Grand Island, Nebraska.
“Many of you will recognize we already have a class 8 machine,” says MacKenzie. “What’s the difference with this class 8 and why is it focused on the small grains farmer? The ‘elevation’ is the clue. The CR8.90 Elevation is a small grain focused machine. It has exactly the same cleaning shoe as in the 10.90. The Opti-Clean cleaning shoe, it’s optimized for small grains, that technology we’re bringing down into the class 8 segment to offer alongside our Grand Island machines.”
“There are small changes relating to horsepower and grain tank, but primarily this is a combine focused on western Canadian and northern plains States of the U.S., small grains customers. They get the benefit of that high-capacity cleaning shoe.”
Regardless of whether you choose a CX or CR version, NH is offering some updates to the cab it introduced a year ago. The same one gets installed on both ranges. The removable cooler that hides under the buddy seat is now a standard feature. “We saw very high take rates (from customers), so we’ve made it standard,” explains MacKenzie.
And to keep you entertained, you can get a satellite radio system right from the factory.
To keep both CR and CX machines working late into the night, a new LED lighting package is available for 2016 that should help brighten things up.
“LED technology gives us a real step forward from HID,” says MacKenzie. “We’re the first to offer a comprehensive work light package. 25 lights in that package become LED, including far-distance lights that shine out to 1,600 feet. And I mean 1,600 feet. They’re incredible.”