Jelmer Ham, Product Manager (Balers), explains how the Lely Welger CB Concept delivers solutions for all these issues.
WHAT IS LELY’S VISION ON FORAGE HARVESTING?
“Baling is evolving. Lely believes that round baling is the future, because it meets the needs of farmers better and
delivers higher capacity and quality. We have stopped development of the big square baler, which you may have heard us talk about previously. Lely is pioneering the development of Continuous Baling, particularly Continuous Round Baling, instead, because we believe it provides diverse and significant benefits that can help farmers overcome new challenges they face. Over the last few years, we have developed our first Continuous Baler – The Lely Welger CB Concept – from the initial idea of one innovative Lely engineer and the combined expertise of three global development teams at Lely. We think that it will revolutionize forage harvesting and agriculture.”
WHAT IS KEY TO CONTINUOUS BALING?
“The key technical challenge we faced was how to make a bale and finish the previous one without having to buffer the crop, whilst maintaining full tension on the bale-in-progress. After collecting and chopping the crop, the bale is formed by two rollers and a 22 metre- long monobelt, which work together with a special tensioning system that buffers the belt and ensures that all bales have a consistent density throughout. The bale drum – which comprises of two large discs -makes half-a-turn in two steps during each cycle, creating the possibility to move a completed bale to the back and start the new bale in the front. As soon as a bale reaches the desired size, net-tying starts. The net tying first makes his first round, as soon as the first round is almost complete the machine extends to the back. A new bale already starts to form in the front. As soon as net-tying is completed, the tailgate opens to unload the finished bale. After each bale is ejected, the belt system buffers the belt and the tailgate moves back to pick up the next … and so on. The system has been tested in several countries worldwide. The results we have already achieved are very promising!.”
WHAT IS POSSIBLE WITH LELY’S NEW CONTINUOUS BALER?
“The Lely Welger CB Concept delivers not just one, but three fundamental features: Quality, Capacity and Comfort. The results that can be achieved with the new product are superior to any baler currently available. It doubles the performance compared to conventional balers currently on the market. Quality: it is critical for farmers to produce consistent and high quality bales to ensure that livestock is fed optimally, enhance longevity, hygiene and integrity of the bales in storage and reduce waste. Lely’s Welger CB Concept places consistent full tension from the start until the tailgate opens. Due to the single belt, even when facing a bad swath you can make a great bale. Regarding Capacity, continuous outputs of 110 to 130 bales an hour can be achieved with the new machine, as well as significant reductions in fuel use, because the tractor doesn’t have to stop and start driving anymore. An automated mode enables automized control of the baler’s functionalities, reducing the reliance on the driver. And the system offers optimal Comfort, as it reduces overall stress and creates more time for the farmer or driver to focus on other
WHEN WILL IT BE COMMERCIALLY-AVAILABLE?
“Within a few years. We have already tested the machine in Germany, Poland, New Zealand, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US). When we design any new machine, we test it across a full range of conditions and crops as a standard procedure of our development process. So, we will continue to test and fine tune the Lely Welger CB Concept. Tests are already planned in a broader range of countries and with a wider range of crop types, including elephant grass. We aim to explore new opportunities for further testing in collaboration with our customers worldwide.