Hay growers on the West Coast and in other parts of the country are looking for an improved market now that milk and cattle prices are higher. To capture those improvements, they first have to be able to grow and harvest the hay crop.
Many farmers are still waiting to hear how much water they will have in 2014. But they will also have new harvest machinery from Case IH as Cole Carling, hay and forage marketing manager for Case IH, explained in a video from World Ag Expo.
Carling says the company’s new LB4 Series balers come in two sizes – one for 3 X 3-sized bales and one for 3 X 4-sized bales – to help meet the needs of hay producers in different parts of the world. Hay growing is no longer a local business in the U.S. with forages now going to large dairy operations in the San Joaquin Valley of California and to export markets such as Saudi Arabia.
The new balers also help producers harvest more hay while the sun shines. “What we’ve done on the 4 Series baler is we’ve increased the capacity 20 percent,” says Carling. “The main reason for that is our customers understand they need to get their crop out of the field in a timely manner. The longer it’s in the field the more risk they have of having something bad happen.”
With the increased capacity, harvesters have the ability to cover more acres in less time, notes Carling, who spoke during a preview of Case IH’s and other World Ag Expo exhibitors' products held on Media Day. The preview took place at the WAE's new Outdoor Pavilion.
Another feature concerns the pick-up mechanism on the baler. “We made the pickup more robust; we strengthened the frame on the pickup; and we also put in an assisted feeding system that make the corners square on the bale, and they help the crop feed into the pre-chamber.”
Case also changed the diameter of the flywheel. “We increased the diameter by six inches, but we maintained the same weight. The laws of physics say the wider the diameter, the less power you need to spin it and the less weight you need to get the same results.”
They also increased the number of plunger strokes on the baler from 42 per minute to 48 per minute.
“Because the plunger is going 48 strokes per minute it’s packing those flakes in a lot faster which gives us the opportunity to drive faster down the field so the machine just processes the crop a lot quicker,” says Carling.
Different parts of the country have different demands for hay products, he noted. That’s why Case IH has a full line of hay harvesting tools so they have a product that fits every customer’s needs and what their customers want.