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Significant opportunities to boost production from forage are possible through use of some of the more advanced grassland machinery technology available, according to speakers at an open event staged by tractor and farm machinery dealership Brodyr Evans Bros at its depot in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

At the company’s ‘Quality Forage Solutions’ evening in April, around 800 visitors from across west, mid and south Wales had insight into an award-winning film binding system that is available on the latest baler wrapper combinations; this system uses wrap instead of net binding, thereby improving bale conservation quality whilst simultaneously reducing the burden of recycling. Film binding technology, patented by KUHN and available on models in their range, received the accolade of a silver medal at the recent LAMMA Show Livestock Innovation Awards.

In addition, visitors had the opportunity to see KUHN’s GA 15131 four-rotor Gyrorake, a machine with a 14.7 metre working width designed for fast and effective grass harvesting. With all four rotors powered by the headstock-mounted hydraulic drive unit, operators have the option to increase front rotor speed by up to 20% when working in lighter crops, ensuring optimum swath formation. Rotor height is hydraulically adjustable, and each rotor is mounted on four pivoting, large diameter wheels for excellent ground following. Individual rotors can be lowered parallel to the ground, even on rough terrain, so that the tines don’t meet the soil – thereby preventing the crop from being contaminated.

Speaking at the event, KUHN product specialist Katie Calcutt highlighted the role of new grassland machinery technology in the ongoing quest to boost production from forage.

“Innovation in machinery technology is creating opportunities for livestock farmers to improve the efficiency of forage conservation and increase the quality of the silage,” she said.

“Speed of operation is important, of course, to ensure grass is harvested in a timely fashion, but it’s also essential to maximise the quality of the crop. Innovations that optimise swath formation and minimise the risks of soil contamination, such as we see on the new four-rotor rakes, are vital to keep forage quality as high as possible.

“Film binding is a new development that combines efficiency and increased forage quality. We’re seeing improved nutritional value in film bound bales. In addition, overcoming the downtime of having to separate net from wrap in order to meet recycling requirements is a great bonus for farmers.”

The ‘Quality Forage Solutions’ event was organised by Brodyr Evans Bros in conjunction with KUHN Farm Machinery.