Top hits from Henty 2019

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Some of 2019’s best innovations in farm machinery were on display at the 2019 Henty Machinery Field Days

Henty Machinery Field days 2019 from the sky
Henty Machinery Field days 2019 from the sky

With 830 exhibitors and 55,000 visitors over three days, times were busy at the 2019 Henty Machinery Field Days, even despite the tough conditions in New South Wales.

Aside from being a drawcard for farmers from all across the country, the event is also home to the prestigious Henty Machine of the Year Award, decided by an independent panel of primary producers.

This year saw some excellent machines nominated, with Queensland-based Offsider Ag Equipment being highly commended for its Spin-A-Calf calf-handling device.

Heath and Bruce Hutcheon, Coolamon, celebrate the Henty Machine of the Year Award for the Coolamon Spreader Chaser
Heath and Bruce Hutcheon, Coolamon, celebrate the Henty Machine of the Year Award for the Coolamon Spreader Chaser

Coolamon SC 3523 Spreader Chaser Bin

But the winner of this year’s Machine of the Year Award was NSW-based manufacturer Coolamon Chaser Bins, for the Spreader Chaser bin they launched earlier this year.

Judge Mark Bowyer says the company impressed judges with their innovation, engineering and design when combining a multi-purpose fertiliser spreader with a chaser bin.

"Coolamon has been building chaser bins for quite some time – the idea of the Spreader Chaser brings two machines into one without compromising the functionality of either of those machines," he says.

"As far as the spreader goes, it is a high volume, high capacity spreader – a lot of producers now are spreading poultry manure and such products where they need greater volumes," he added.

"At the same time, the machine can accurately spread lime and gypsum with the ISOBUS variable rate – it really impressed us.

Featuring a self-cleaning hopper, the Spreader Chaser comes equipped with Haze Ag polyurethane spinner blades with bevel edged spinner discs that can spread urea up to 36m.

The variable sized cones have the ability to spread all varieties of product while the chaser bin features include a 20-inch (50cm) auger with an unloading rate of 10 tonnes a minute.

Coolamon general manager Heath Hutcheon says that winning the Machine of the Year award at this year’s Henty Machinery Field Days was recognition of his team’s efforts.

"We have had excellent feedback from growers, many wondering why this machine wasn’t thought of years ago," Hutcheon says.

"With the cost of machinery these days, to bring two into one makes so much sense from a commercial point of view."

Hutcheon said cost savings on machinery was the biggest benefit to farmers.

"A chaser bin gets used for one month of the year and a spreader for six to nine months, and this machine is basically hooked up to the back of a tractor all year round," he says.

The Coolamon Spreader Chaser is offered in four different sizes ranging from 20 to 30 tonnes and is priced at $140,000-$170,000 + GST.

The Massey Ferguson Ideal combine harvester on display at the Henty Field Days 2019
The MF Ideal combine has been doing the Field Day rounds

MF Ideal combine harvester

For this year’s event, I was lucky enough to be joined by my good friend and machinery enthusiast Jaiden Drought, who had travelled over from New Zealand to see what was on display.

And the first machine his ears pricked up at was the very impressive Massey Ferguson Ideal combine harvester.

The MF Ideal is certainly getting plenty of photo opportunities, as it’s been a frequent on field day circuit this year, however for those who haven’t seen or heard much about the Ideal combine, it’s the latest combine harvester from AGCO.

It’s fair to say its black paintjob is striking, but it’s some of the technology/features that are stuffed into this monster of a machine that really impresses.

We’re talking about the 538hp engine under the bonnet, its Dual Helix 4.84m threshing rotor, and a grain tank capacity of 12,500–17,100 litres.

We can’t wait to get behind the wheel of this in the future.

The new John Deere M900i range of trailed sprayers
The new John Deere M900i range of trailed sprayers

John Deere M900i series trailing sprayers

Over at the Hutcheon & Pearce (John Deere Dealer) site sat the latest John Deere M900i series of trailed sprayers.

A nominated product for the coveted Machine of the Year award, the M900i trailed sprayers are quite the impressive bit of kit. It comes in three variants; a 4400L, 5200L variant and the 6200L variant.

ISOBUS-ready rate control comes as standard, you get GPS section control ready for up to 13 sections, double-linked, ProRoad axle suspension and a high-capacity PowrFill chemical inductor hopper.

The M900i series also has TwinSelect automatic in cab nozzle control for the three tier boom, a pressure boom recirculation system, John Deere BoomGuard boom suspension, and durable spray booms including parallelogram boom lift system, up to 40m.

Another highlight is its 620 litre rinse water tank with an AutoDilute option.

A very swanky looking piece of machinery from John Deere, prices start around $140,000 plus GST.

The Ajust-A-Bar, the disc chain alternative

Ajust-A-Bar secondary tillage implement

Our next stop was another product nominated for the Machine of the Year award.

This giant, yellow fabricated beast is called the ‘Ajust-A-Bar’, a tillage implement marketed as an alternative implement to disc chains and stubble cutters

With three different working positions and a unique transport position, the Ajust-A-Bar is certainly a unique piece of machinery.

Designer and manufacturer Nigel Martin says it’s an economical for of stubble management, it’s very good for incorporating chemical.

"This machine here (on display) goes from 61 to 65 feet and this delivered here on a 45-foot tilt deck that we use to deliver on farm, so we can pull a machine off and it can go to work within 20 minutes," he adds.

"Unique" hydraulic accumulators allow you to increase or decrease pressure to suit your conditions.

The machine on display weighs in at an excess of 10.5 tonne and features over 200 discs.

The new Claas Lexion combine 
 harvester on display at Henty 2019
The new Claas Lexion combine made its Aussie debut at Henty 2019

Claas Lexion 8700 combine harvester

While it wasn’t nominated for the prize, the Claas Lexion 8700 combine harvester was in fine form after we first saw it at the launch in early August.

We were lucky enough a few weeks ago to be invited to the official Australian launch of the latest Lexion combine offering from Claas, however our kiwi mate made me drag him over to the Claas tent so he could lock his eyes onto the stunning machine.

Claas in their attempt to really chew into the combine market globally have thrown everything at this new Lexion – that includes more than 6000 testing hours in more than 10 countries over the span of 8 years.

Claas says this isn’t a new series; it’s effectively a new machine. Key changes from previous Lexion’s include diameter increases to the threshing drum (26 per cent), an updated APS pre-separation system and exciting new Dynamic cooling  on-demand variable driving cooling system which Claas claims will make the combines more efficient and help reduce power requirements by 26hp.

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