Award for combination baler-feeder
Wessex International’s BFR180 modular feeding and bedding machine took the award at the LAMMA show for best new product or innovation in livestock production equipment.
The British product is built in the Wessex International factory in Hampshire, UK and is effectively two machines in one.
It is designed to save as much as 20% on feed bills when feeding round bales, and to spread without chopping and with minimal dust.
As a bale feeder, the BFR180 can feed round bales of hay, haylage, straw and silage from either side, and only requires one tractor or telehandler to operate it. Machine maintenance is low, with only four grease points, and no electrics. The unroller is equipped with 5.5-tonne rated chains. F it th e C ro s s f i re s t r a w spreader attachment, and bedding and feeding can be undertaken with the same machine. This allows the operator to bed from one side, and feed off the other. Seamlessly integrated onto the BFR-180 round bale feeder, the Crossfire straw bedder is suitable for a tractor’s 3-point linkage, or for telehandlers. W h a t ’ s mo r e , u n l i k e conventional straw choppers, it spreads the straw in its baled length, with minimal dust and projectiles, and up to ten metres away, for better livestock health, and a longer lifespan of each bedding.
I t h a s b e e n a b u s y f ew months since the PCN 210 was officially launched at BP2017, the British Potato Industry Event in November 2017. The machine was seen next at LAMMA 2018, where it won the farm equipment and machinery innovation award. Exhibited by Keith Mount Liming, it is a precision soil sampling device aimed at the potato growers’ market. The Phieldtek PCN 210 collects over 400% more cores than the standard method of GPS sampling.
The nature of the design allows the operator to collect about 210 cores per hectare. For example, if sampling on 2ha grids, the standard method still collects around 50 cores. This is where the PCN 210 ramps up the intensity, collecting abiyt 420 cores per 2ha grid.
The other advantage of the PCN 210 is that it operates a guaranteed sample collection. Due to the automated nature of sample collection, cores are extracted at around 3- metre intervals. Standard sampling techniques collect cores every 12m-13m, with the distance dictated by the operator, so fatigue could mean a collection point is missed. The PCN 210 also collects a greater volume of soil, at around five litres. A composite sample is then taken from this volume, meaning every PCN sample is far more representative of the grid area, ensuring accurate results. Cyst count, egg count and speciation can all be reported on. There is also the possibility to analyse samples for TRV (tobacco rattle virus). Samples can be sent to a lab of the user’s choice, and if requested, sampled for P, K, Mg and pH at the same time, giving growers maximum data from the sampling. Halse South West won the LAMMA mechanical crop equipment category best new product with a Spanish machine designed for vineyards, top fruit and hop farms Ovlac’s Reptill is a multipurpose short- disc harrow, developed in conjunction with a large French winery, whose owners were looking to cut operational costs by reducing the number of passes.
It has a large space between two g angs of discs, which allow placement of a row of de-compacting tines that are adjustable in height.
The Reptill therefore allows for several tasks in just one pass, cutting roots and mulch as well as eradicating the pan and improving drainage. A front gang of discs operate all in one direction, turning the soil outwards, and the second gang turn the soil from t h e o u t s i d e s t o wa r d s t h e centre. The firstgang cuts the trash, allowing the ripper to work in conditions where a t r a d i t i o n a l d e - c omp a c t o r cannot go, due to continuous blockages.
The working depth of the ripper can be controlled from the tractor cab, ranging from out of work ( 18cm above the disc) to 35cm deep (14 inches) in the ground. A depth indic a t or is mo u n t e d o n t h e machine.
The curved Michel tines are designed for low disturbance at the soil surface.
The notched 20- inch discs with sealed conical bearings are mounted on the frame, with auto reset protection by means of rubber blocks. A centre tine ensures all ground is worked.
Side plates adjustable in height and angle prevent damage to plants, and various rear rollers can be chosen from for desired finish and soil conditions.
A hydraulic headland frame lift is available as an option where narrow headlands can be a problem, lifting the rear of the machine vertically towards the tractor. Ovlac Reptill 12- 4 has a power requirement of 90- 110 h o r s e p o w e r ; i t s o ve r a l l weight is 1.22 tons.
The Phieldtek PCN 210 soil sampler can collect 210 soil sample cores per hectare. Below, the Wessex International’s BFR-180 modular feeding and bedding machine.