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Introducing the Square Baler Classification System

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To support hay producers to be better able to choose the right baler for their operation needs, AGCO and Hesston by Massey Ferguson are introducing a standardized classification system for small and large square balers during the 2017 World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif.  The square baler classification system places balers in Class 1 through Class 8 and clearly defines the capabilities of balers and their most appropriate uses.

You can learn more about this new Square Baler Classification System here.

“Hesston alone offers four models of large square balers ranging from 3’x3’ to 4’x4’ and six small square balers to produce four sizes from 14” x 18” to 16” x 22”,” explains Shaun Allred, marketing manager for hay and forage at Hesston. “Dairy, beef and equine customers, as well as commercial hay and biomass harvesting operations that harvest, store and ship large quantities of material all have different needs in a baler.”

“These classes clearly define the capabilities of the various models from Hesston by Massey Ferguson and Challenger®. The baler classification system will give customers a better understanding of the entire lineup of balers so they can make better purchase decisions,” Shaun Allred continues. “This system is similar to the classification system for combines that uses horsepower ranges to rank the size and productivity of combine harvesters.”

The square baler classification system uses rated plunger load to define each of the eight baler classes. Plunger load was chosen because is the most measurable factor impacting the density of the finished bale.

“Bale density is a key consideration when customers purchase a square baler, because it affects the amount of material in the finished bale; bale weight; stacking, storage and transportation, as well as the productivity and efficiency of the baling process,” Allred points out. “Producers will be able to use this system to choose the baler that fits the crops they harvest, their end-use needs and the baler that optimizes their hay harvesting productivity and efficiency for the best return on investment.”

Rated plunger load is determined by measuring the Kilonewtons (kN) of force on the face of the plunger. One Kilonewton equals 224.8 pounds of force. Load sensors on the plunger arms measure compression of the plunger arms to provide the plunger load rating. Current AGCO customers are familiar with this number because it is displayed on the in-cab monitor as the Load Setting.

Using experience gained from more than 70 years as an industry-leading manufacturer of equipment for producing and harvesting quality forage, the hay experts at Hesston developed clear descriptions of the most appropriate uses for balers within each class. See the below table to learn more about the different classes and the operations each one is ideal for.

 

Class Ideal For: Hesston
Models
Challenger Models Plunger Force (kN) Bale Size Bale Weight* (lbs)
1 Equine Operations
25-1000 acres/year; Individual use or commercial production; Small bale size (50-85 lbs.): easy to handle, transport and feed; Handle individually or with accumulator
MF1836
MF1838
MF1840
CH1838
CH1840
15 to 44 kNs 14″x18″ 50-85 lbs.
2 Equine & Dairy Operations
100-500+ acres/year; Individual or commercial production: equine, small beef or dairy; Small bale size (70-110 lbs.): easy to handle, transport and feed; Handle individually or with accumulator
MF1842 45 to 74 kNs 16″x18″ 70-110 lbs.
3 Equine, Dairy & Export Operations
250-1000+ acres/year; Individual or commercial: equine, beef, dairy & export; Largest, small square bales: (90-140 lbs.) May be hand fed or double pressed for export; Handle with accumulator and forks
MF1844 75 to 199 kNs 15″x22″ 90-140 lbs.
4 Dairy Operations
250-1,000+ acres/year; Individual dairy & beef operations with limited custom baling
MF2250 CH2250 200 to 324 kNs 3’x3′ 700-900 lbs.
5 Dairy & Commercial Operations
250-3,000+ acres/year; Large dairies, commercial hay producers, custom balers & fleet use
MF2270
MF2290
CH2270
CH2290
325 to 449 kNs 3’x4′
4’x4′
1,000-2,000 lbs.
6 Commercial & Biomass Operations
500-3,000+ acres/year; Commercial hay production and crop residue baling
MF2270XD CH2270XD 450 to 574 kNs 3’x4′
4’x4′
1,400-2,000 lbs.
7 Commercial & Biomass Operations
1,000-5,000+ acres/year; Large-scale custom hay and crop residue baling
575 to 749 kNs 3’x4′ 1,400-2,000 lbs.
8 Biomass Operations
1,000-5,000+ acres/year; Large-scale crop residue and biomass baling
750 + kNs 3’x4′ 1,400-2,000 lbs.

 

Young Farmers: Growing Their Future and Ours

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Quite possibly better educated and prepared than any generation before them, young producers still face major challenges in getting off the ground. For this FarmLife Special Report, we asked several young farmers about their challenges and goals, then listened as each spoke of hard lessons learned, their passion for farming and hopes for the future.

Three families are featured in profile stories and video interviews: the Skobergs, who grow peas, wheat and canola on Twin Oaks Farm in Lougheed, Alberta; the Robertses, who farm and run a fencing and custom gate business in Pittsylvania County, Virginia; and the Boeres, whose dairy operation is in Modesto, California. Each has a unique story to tell, including the innovative ways they have made a life and a living on the farm.

To go along with the family profiles, the Young Farmers Special Report includes advice from parents, resources to help young and new farmers, a look back at our previous special report and more.

In the article “Raising Farmers,” father Jerry McDonald and son Jon—now a father himself—offer advice on preparing the next generation for a career in agriculture. You’ll also read about how the National Young Farmers Coalition works to connect beginning farmers with resources, such as information on loans and subsidies.

See the entire special report, including video interviews: Young Farmers: Growing Their Future And Ours

Silage Chopping, Packing and Storage: Top of the Heap

Butch Gist and Marvin Davis are something of a dynamic duo. Together, they own D&G Chopping, a silage harvesting and packing operation, and run the latter’s family business, Gist Farms, a conglomeration of trucking, rail, equipment repair and farming.

Having worked together for 40-plus years, the two have weathered the ups and downs that buffet any business. Having experienced it in the fast-paced, topsy-turvy environment that is California agriculture, it has at times seemed more like a super roller-coaster ride, complete with barrel rolls and loop-de-loops.

They’ve seen business models and farms come and go. Yet, they’ve adapted and survived, even thrived. “We’ve seen a lot of changes in farming,” Davis says. “But we’ve found our way … found a way to adapt as the business changed.”

For instance, some 20-plus years ago, dairies began replacing many row-crop operations in California’s Central Valley. Running a custom harvesting operation, Davis and Gist realized they needed to change their focus, too. “The dairy industry just exploded in our area,” Davis says. “They were moving everything over to chopping, to silage. By the end of that first season, we had three new choppers … and basically a new business.”

D&G Chopping was born. “That was 25 years ago,” continues Davis, “and since then we’ve begun packing that silage for our customers, and all along watching for other opportunities.”

Yet, one of their secrets to success is not jumping into new ventures too quickly. Another is finding the right partners, which Davis and Gist say they have in many facets, including their choice of AGCO and their Challenger MT955E. They use the latter in packing silage and are extremely happy with its comfort, fuel efficiency, durability and power.

Another ingredient, says Gist: “It all goes back to the saying that I always felt was important: ‘The secret to success is putting your shadow on your business … across what’s going on.’ You just have to make sure you’re there watching and stay in touch.”

Read more: Silage Chopping, Packing and Storage: Top of the Heap

The Challenger 1000 Series: New Tractor, New Future

The new Challenger 1000 Series tractors are more than a new line of high-horsepower machines. They also represent an engineering breakthrough, offering tech-savvy solutions for today’s agribusiness operations.

“The Challenger 1000 Series is a completely new class of tractors,” says Josh Keeney, Challenger tactical marketing manager for North America. Each of the four models in the series, he says, “delivers more for less, with high efficiency and incredible power … all while offering intelligent, superior engineering, and exceptional road speed and operator comfort.

Ranging from 396 to 517 HP, the four models in the 1000 Series are the most versatile standard tractor on the market. Weighing in at an agile 30,864 pounds, they can fill the row-crop and transport needs commonly delegated to a conventional tractor. An easy ballasting system gives each vehicle the potential to be loaded with up to 50% of its base weight for use in heavy draft applications typically reserved for small-frame articulated tractors.

“One key to the Challenger 1000 Series performance is an advanced step-less drivetrain called AccuDrive,™” says Keeney, “designed for high torque, independent of ground conditions, while keeping engine speed especially low.” The 1000 Series tractors reach their maximum speed of 31 mph at a fuel-saving 1,200 rpm, and deliver up to 1,770 feet-pounds of torque (model 1050) at just 1,100 rpm.

The efficient and ergonomic cab environment even ensures all controls in the cab are color-coded for function, including engine and transmission, hydraulics, PTO and electronics—an incredible advantage when training new operators.

For more information on the new Challenger 1000 Series tractors, see your nearest Challenger dealer or log on to challenger-ag.us.

See the full story and the new tractor in action online: Challenger 1000 Series: New Tractor, New Future.

Challenger Tractors: ‘Stick There Like Glue’

“Our topography is pretty steep,” says Garry Esser about the less-than-level land he farms. “It’s a challenge, but,” he says with a grin, “you’re never bored.”

Raising a variety of crops, including wheat, barley and canola, as well as peas and pulse crops, Esser and his son John farm land in the ever-undulating Palouse region of western Idaho. It’s a tough assignment for most tractors, according to Esser, who farms on some steep slopes.

Garry and John Esser

Garry and John Esser

That’s one of the reasons he runs Challenger® track tractors, including an MT855. “They just stick there like glue … and they’re light and nimble,” he says.

Esser notes that with the rubber-track Challengers, “You’ve got the speed of a wheel tractor for moving up and down the road, and yet still have the benefits of the tractor sticking to the hills. And, they get power to the ground per weight like nothing I’ve ever driven.”

Due to a need to reduce compaction, weight is a particular concern for Esser. “In the spring, when we’re fighting compaction, we can lighten this tractor up … and still pull our equipment because the Challenger line has done a real good job of getting [power] to the ground.” He adds that “a lot of the competitors’ tractors weigh 60,000 pounds when they’re delivered, and you really can’t do a lot with that. That’s just heavy.”

Running just two tractors, uptime is critical for the Essers. They rely on Agri-Service in Pasco, Wash., for parts and service. “We’ve known them a long time,” Esser says. “Their guys are sharp. They’re real responsive. We’ve been very pleased with their service.”

For more, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/shepherds-grain-bridges-built-alliances-forged/.

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