Get ready to spend less time in the hay fields. In September Vermeer unveiled the first continuous round baler (CRB), currently in the development stage. The machine will allow producers to bale non-stop, forming two bales simultaneously. Vermeer is working with Lely Group in the creation of the CRB concept machine.
“When operators must stop and wait for each bale to eject, that eats up a lot of time that could be devoted to another field or task,” says 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.”
How it works. When the first bale is nearing the preferred size the bale is moved backward to the bale ramp. Simultaneously another bale starts forming near the feed intake. When finished, the first bale will be ejected, the second bale moves into the main chamber for completion and a new bale begins. The process repeats continuously until the field is finished.
“Stopping, waiting and starting again takes a toll on the operator,” Andringa says. “So in addition to improving productivity and saving time, continuous baling helps reduce operator fatigue.”
The CRB is something hay and forage producers around the globe have been waiting for, adds Alexander van der Lely, CEO of Lely Group.
“There is a certain window of opportunity to perform baling and forage harvesting to create the right feed for cattle. The continuous round baler allows you to bale more bales, with the right quality, in the narrow window of opportunity you have,” van der Lely says.
A final release date for the CRB has not been set, but testing will continue.