Despite Krone selling everything it can produce, and more besides, the business of bringing dealers and their staff up to scratch with the latest equipment is still a vital part of the machinery business.
Recently, Farmhand held a series of training days for its distributors of the company’s machinery at Lyons Farm, Co. Kildare, and took the opportunity to demonstrate it while still gathered in one field.
Another busy year for Krone
Business is booming for the company, with the number of units being sold far out exceeding the number the factory was intending to produce.
So much so in fact, that the company has recently purchased another 25ha of space, and intends on expanding further over the next few years.
Krone is still a family owned company that prefers to grow organically rather than through acquisition, and it has achieved this aim, it believes, by maintaining family values.
Within Ireland this is exemplified by the close working relationship it maintains with the Scrivener family, who own and run Farmhand very much in a ‘hands-on’ manner.
Paul and Stephen Scrivener had been present throughout the training days, ensuring that the dealers, the majority of whom are family run as well, and their technicians were up to speed with the latest equipment.
The benefit of getting machines set-up properly was a major theme of this year’s event and leaving a little more stubble than is the custom when cutting in Ireland featured strongly in the presentations.
The trend in Germany, apparently, is to leave a stubble about the length of a beer-bottle neck in the field, rather than try to bring the crop, complete with topsoil, home.
Leaving a little more behind not only eases the strain on the machines, but encourages regrowth as well as reducing contamination by soil and faeces.
The crop had grown well with a very noticeable clover content that was present throughout the height of a rather open sward.
There was no sign of any of the slurry applied a few months earlier and growth was consistent throughout the field.
Krone had brought along a variety of grassland machines to demonstrate to the dealers, the big ticket item being its flagship forage harvester, the Big X 1180.
With the 24L of V12 engine Liebherr purring away in the back, it hardly noticed what was put in front of it at the reduced operating speed necessitated by the presence of people in the field.
1156hp may sound something of an extravagance but Krone has sold several of these units into Ireland, which remain very much contractor machines.
Mowing made easy
The big, heavy grass crops which they are designed to cope with also require robust machines to cut, ted and rake it, and there are no mowers larger than the big M, with its 10m cut.
Despite the self-propelled machine drawing all the attention, Krone also had a new trailed mower to show on the day.
Although it is based on its predecessor, there have been several improvements, including the relocation of the trailer wheels to inside the frame, making it easier to pass through narrow gateways.
Tedders and rakes
Also revamped for this season is the latest Vendro tedder, which appears to have been beefed up and is now equipped with new ‘C’ type tines, which are said to be more efficient at picking up grass.
When it comes to raking, the Swardo TC 1370 was on show, a rake which has an adjustable width reaching from 13.7m down to 10.8m. This particular model was also fitted with section control, lifting the rotors in and out of work as required, to leave a neat finish.
Harvesting the grass is not the sole preserve of the Big X. Krone still does a steady business in forage wagons despite other manufacturers dropping them from their product lines.
The demand stems mainly from dairy farmers who wish to retain the independence and flexibility of doing it themselves. The machines also give a longer chop which many prefer, believing that it is kinder on a cow’s rumen.
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