Farm Ireland

Sunday 21 April 2019

New Massey Ferguson and Pottinger round balers look set to make a big impact in the Irish market


Derek Casey

Derek Casey

Massey Ferguson and Fendt-branded balers are now rolling out after Lely opted to sell to AGCO. The new MF models comprise an upgraded look and I think we'll start to see more of them given the previous popularity of Lely balers in Ireland.

The MF RB 3130F is the fixed chamber model and features a sleek new appearance, with redesigned side panels enhancing ergonomics and numerous improvements under the covers to improve performance and bale quality.

Additional versatility to produce chopped forage for easier feeding and enhanced feed quality is offered by the MF RB 3130F Xtracut. These balers use a camless pick-up for high speed feeding with low maintenance requirement. The pick-up system has five tine bars with each one being spaced 64mm apart, which MF claims provides higher capacity and a smoother even feed at high speed. The pick-up is positioned very close to the rotor, improving crop flow and reducing the risk of blockage. Two large capacity 25cm diameter feeding augers direct crop to the centre to create the best bale shape.

The 18 rollers in the fixed-chamber design ensure constant grip for best bale shape and appearance, now enhanced by mechanical tail gate locks with pressure sensors on both sides to help maintain bale shape. Left-right indication allows the operator to monitor the outer layers of bale via the in-cab screen. The chamber has a spiral-type design with slightly reduced diameter at the front, thus improving feeding and bale rotation, increasing density and net grip when wrapping. Roller support bearings in the bale chamber feature new scrapers, efficiently removing debris and moisture from the roller bearings and keeping the outside panels clean.


MF offers a two-stage protection system against crop blockages, using automatic mechanical floor cushioning to clear minor blockages or hydraulically controlled floor-lowering to clear major obstructions. Wrapping is provided by the Varionet system, a special net tensioning and spreading device that is capable of dealing with various widths and types of net.

For those looking for a combination machine, the MF RB 3130F Protec and MF RB 4160V Protec balers combine all the benefits of the MF fixed and variable chamber balers with the addition of an integrated wrapper device for fast, non-stop baling and wrapping on the go. A lower crop elevation angle for the new combination reduces the overall baler height, improving stability and allowing safer and faster hillside operation. It also reduces back pressure in the feeding area, streamlining crop flow and minimising the risk of blockages.

The new design features two active guiding plates on both sides of the baler, clearly directing the bale to the centre of the wrapper plate, allowing for a faster and more secure transfer cycle. For added safety on hillsides, the unique slope transfer mode allows for the transfer arm to move more slowly, while the wrapper ring is lifted higher to receive the bale. This ensures that the bale will be securely delivered to the wrapper even on sloping terrain.

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The wrapping table is lowered for unloading, thus minimising the bale rolling speed, preventing film damage and maintaining the ideal bale shape. An optional bale tipper puts bales on their ends, preventing them from rolling away and making for easier loading on the trailer.

The operator can also choose between automatic and manual unloading modes. An external control panel on the back of the baler allows control of the tailgate, wrapping ring and table and the film pre-stretchers for easy film roll change, maintenance or cleaning. The combination baler can also be controlled via the tractor's Isobus monitor, where fitted. The baler wrapper combination is fitted with a rearview camera for better control of wrapper.

Pöttinger Impress baler/wrapper

Pöttinger is expanding its Impress round baler line for the 2019 season with a new baler/wrapper combination. The new models combine all the features of the Impress range with a wrapping system with fully automatic settings, thereby enabling high-speed baling and wrapping.

The wrapping concept has been specifically devised to match the high technical capacity of the baler. In addition, the wrapper can be adapted to the ideal film size according to bale diameter (from 1.10m to 1.50m). This means that the bale can be wrapped immediately after compaction, which has a positive effect on the quality of the silage.

Impress baler/wrapper
Impress baler/wrapper

The baler/wrapper combination is available as a fixed-chamber baler (Impress 125 FC Pro) and a variable round baler (Impress 155 VC Pro). It is operated directly from the Isobus terminal, and all functions can either run automatically or can be controlled directly from the control panel on the tractor. The operator can choose between automatic and manual operation. A "double bale placing" mode for hay and straw for continuous loading is also available.

The wrapper

The wrapping arms on the compact wrapping unit take the bale from below and move upwards, designed to meet the requirements of a high-capacity baler. Pöttinger claims a further advantage of the system is its low height. The double-wrapping arm works at 36rpm. The film stretching unit is adjusted by 'switching' the drive chain for 50pc or 70pc stretch.

Bales are safely transferred to the wrapping table by a transfer unit that moves linearly. With this concept, Pöttinger says bales can safely be placed even on gradients of up to 40pc. Replacing the film is fast and easy thanks to the hydraulically folding-down film magazine (6x2 rolls in the protected area behind the cladding). The machine also features a film tear monitor. The Impress baler/wrapper combination is fitted with the Flexcut 32 retractable short-chop chopping unit, consisting of 32 twin blade reversible knives with an individual knife protection system and a chopping length of 36mm along the entire width.

The shorter chop length enables higher compression of the crop and thus higher bale density. This reduces transport and storage costs since less storage space and handling are required.

As with the solo machines, the baler/wrapper combinations feature the lift-up rotor concept. Thanks to the spiral configuration of the rotor tines, the forage enters the bale chamber across the whole width and tangentially at an ideal angle. The result is a high intake capacity that translates into high baling performance with very low disintegration losses.

Any material that does fall through is fed back into the flow by the cleaning rotor; this design has provided an efficient solution to the problem of disintegration of crop material. Furthermore, material is fed into the bale chamber more evenly and over a broad width, which reduces any left/right steering correction needed by the tractor driver to produce perfectly shaped bales.

In terms of safety, Pöttinger claims the combination of the lift-up rotor and the retractable knife bank ensures ease of maintenance of the chopping unit: maintenance can be performed in the standing position and outside the hazardous vicinity of the round baler.

It is no longer necessary to climb into the bale chamber, thus safety is guaranteed.

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