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Farm machinery: Pick of the cutting edge combines

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New Holland has updated its mid range CX combines and the results will prove interesting for Irish growers looking to upgrade for the new season.

New Holland has updated its mid range CX combines and the results will prove interesting for Irish growers looking to upgrade for the new season.

The Tucano from Claas offers an alternative to growers who don't want the bells and whistles of a top contractor-spec combine.

The Tucano from Claas offers an alternative to growers who don't want the bells and whistles of a top contractor-spec combine.

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New Holland has updated its mid range CX combines and the results will prove interesting for Irish growers looking to upgrade for the new season.

It might seem like a quiet time for contractors and tillage farmers, but behind the scenes there will be lots of deals going on. This is traditionally the time when users take stock of their combines and decide on whether to stick with their machine for another year or invest in a newer model.

It's a massive decision. There is no more expensive machine in the yard than a new combine - prices range from €140,000 right up to €450,000 depending on the output and specification level required.

With such large sums at stake, it is crucial to first do your homework and know the market inside out.

With that in mind, this week we take a look at some of the new models on offer from the big four of New Holland, Claas, Case IH and John Deere.

New Holland

New Holland has upgraded its mid-range combines, significantly increasing their capacity and performance.

The CX 5000 and CX 6000 Elevation models share the distinctive styling, high output levels and performance of New Holland's flagship combines, but in terms of price they are more realistically targeted at contractors and farmers of the scale found in Ireland.

The range offers four basic models - two five straw-walker and two six straw-walker - as well as two Laterale versions for sustained performance on steep slopes. The CX 5000 and 6000 range stands out for its flexibility and versatility.

New Holland claims it offers a solution for all: from livestock farmers who want quality straw to contractors and cash crop farmers who can easily switch crops without compromising on performance and quality.

A stand out feature is the new triple-clean cleaning shoe, a simple and innovative tweak that increases the combine's cleaning capacity by as much as 15pc.

This feature consists of an extra cascade in the centre of the grain pan where an additional air blast removes large volumes of chaff and short straw before final cleaning even starts on the main sieves.

The design means the grain is almost completely cleaned in the first 50cm of the cleaning shoe, resulting in an excellent grain sample.

New Holland says its triple cascade approach maintains a high quality of cleaning when the machine is working at its highest capacity.

On the biggest model, new double flight cross auger transfers grain to the elevator faster. This results in an increase in throughput as high as 10pc. The field autonomy of the CX 5000 and CX 6000 models has been extended to match the combines' increased capacity, with bigger 670-litre fuel tanks.

There are also bigger grain tanks that have a capacity of 8,300l for the five strawwalker and 9,300l for the six strawwalker models.

The performance of the CX 5000 and CX 6000 combines benefits from automatic functions such as cruise control, which resumes a set field speed at the tap of a button.

Meanwhile, a new 31cm wide colour touch screen enables operators to monitor all combine functions and control up to three cameras, further enhancing the excellent all-round visibility.

Technophobe operators will appreciate the feature that shows recommended combine settings on the screen, making crop settings and crop-to-crop transitions easier.

The adjustable chaff spreading and improved chopper spread width result in an even distribution of crop residue.

Bigger, low pressure and increased flexion steering and traction tyres are available for the CX 5000 and CX 6000 models, increasing flotation and consequently reducing ground compaction and protecting future yields.

Claas

Originally launched for the 2008 harvest, the Claas Tucano combine range has proved popular with tillage farmers in Ireland who want a high capacity combine without all the extras a big contractor might require.

One of the reasons the Tucano has stood out in the medium sized sector is the use of the well proven Accelerated Pre-Separation (APS) threshing system.

Newer models have also featured the APS hybrid system, which helps ensure that high outputs can be maintained even in difficult threshing conditions.

For the 2015 harvest, a complete new range of Tucano models will be available.

These will provide growers with an alternative to the Lexion, while still drawing upon that range for some of its new features to boost output and productivity.

The new Tucano is available in three ranges with a total of six models. Topping the line-up will be the new Tucano 570 which is fitted with an APS hybrid threshing system.

The four-model Tucano 400 range uses the APS system in combination with straw-walkers, while the Tucano 320 has just a single conventional drum and straw walkers.

From the outside, the most notable difference is the appearance of the new Tucano range, which more closely follows the Lexion, especially with the adoption of a top-pivot type unloading auger.

The main benefit of this is an increase in loading height and discharge speed, which is now about 30pc higher.

On the new Tucano 570 hybrid, this means that its 9,000l tank can be emptied in less than two minutes.

The Tucano is powered by a Tier 4 compatible Mercedes-Benz engine, with the exhaust gasses treated using selective catalytic reduction and exhaust gas recirculation.

Fresh air for the engine is drawn in through a rotating radiator screen and active pre-separation ensures that fewer particles get into the two air filters.

For difficult or hilly conditions, a new four-wheel drive axle is available.

This uses two central hydrostatic motors integrated into the axle and providing 30pc more traction. This will be an important feature for Irish users encountering the difficult ground conditions thrown up whenever we get a wet summer.

On the Tucano 400 and 570 models, Claas says the APS threshing system accelerates and subjects the crop to a high centrifugal force, so that 30pc of the easily threshed grains are removed in the pre-concave. This leaves the main drum and concave to handle the harder to thresh grains.

Both the accelerator and main drum are synchronously driven, so that the crop maintains an even flow and speed to avoid damaging the straw.

John Deere

John Deere is introducing the new five-walker W330 and six-walker W440 entry level combine harvesters for next season.

Offering reliability and simplicity at a low operating cost, these Deere-branded combines are actually the result of a marketing agreement with Finnish manufacturer Sampo, and feature 210hp and 238hp Sisu engines with maximum power ratings of 216hp and 253hp.

The W440 is available in two versions, either with or without a pre-threshing cylinder (PTC); this is standard on the W330 model, which has a grain tank capacity of 5200l.

The base W440 model has a 6500l grain tank, while the W440 PTC combine holds 7600l and can be emptied at a speed of up to 100l/second. Header sizes from 3.9m to 6.9m are available, depending on the model.

In addition to these new W-Series combines, a new high-performance package is now available for the T-Series, designed to increase separation performance in high-yielding crops.

Further up the range, the S670 combine now has a new Stage IV compliant engine, which features a 19hp increase in rated horse power to 392hp, with maximum power boosted up to 449hp.

The new John Deere engine's integrated emissions control system utilises components such as cooled exhaust gas re-circulation and smart exhaust filters, together with selective catalytic reduction technology.

The entire system is optimised to meet emissions regulations, while delivering maximum performance, reliability and durability.

Finally, there's good news for those who are fond of smartphone apps.

John Deere's 'GoHarvest' app is now available as a free download and works by assisting farmers and operators to optimise their machine's performance working environment in the field.

Indo Farming