Changing to a new breed of ‘combi’ in Co. Laois

 Thu, 5th Sep, 2019

Changing to a new breed of ‘combi’ in Co. Laois

AgriLand paid a visit to Co. Laois to meet the owner – Cathal Quinn (pictured above) – of one of the latest ‘combi’ baler-wrappers to hit the Irish market.

When John W Anderson caught up with him recently, he’d only had the machine three weeks.

Cathal explained: “We traded a 2017 machine in against it; we’re very impressed with the [new] Kuhn.

“We had no intention of changing the baler at all, but I got talking to a mate of mine over the last year or so; he’s a contractor as well – down in Gorey [Co. Wexford].

The Reasons Why…

“He decided to change to Kuhn; he was telling me the reasons why…and they’re kind of adding up. One is Kuhn’s plastic [system] on the front. There is net on it [as well], if you want it.

“[The system] is there if you want extra plastic on the bale; it’s there as an option…and Kuhn’s is a cheaper option for farmers.”

He continued: “Before we ever had a Fusion or a ‘combi’ baler, we used to run a Welger [baler] and a Taarup [wrapper]. That wrapper was a carbon copy of what’s on the back of this Kuhn, so we’re well used to how they work. It’s the very same really.

I think that [Taarup] wrapper did 150,000 bales for us. There was very little maintenance and it worked very well.

“Then we decided – after a very wet year – to buy a Fusion 2. It was a brave move at the time; we ran that for four years. We bought a new Fusion 3 in 2017…and now we’re running this new Kuhn in 2019.”

Cathal pointed out that he still runs an older (McHale) Fusion alongside the new FBP 3135; it’s still a key part of the business.

Commenting on the Kuhn, he said: “The way she’s going – probably – she’ll be going back in, in a couple of years, for another one.”

He explained that if uptake for the new (in-chamber) plastic application system “keeps going the way it is” the older baler-wrapper might also get changed – for another Kuhn.

Cathal went on (in the video) to talk about the machine’s performance. He noted that, on average, it takes between 53 seconds and a minute to complete each bale – for a “full cycle…with plastic”.

He said: “I did 425 bales yesterday – all in small fields.”

He also touched on film costs – on a per-bale basis. He said, with the machine’s new (in-chamber) plastic system, the farmer has “no net to worry about in the winter”.

“Just cut your bale; everything’s where you want it.”