The Kuhn LSB 890 and 1290 models will have the option of a new, 6”, color touch-screen monitor available later this year, says Rob Barger, Kuhn product manager. The monitor, called the VT 50, has the same operator interface as Kuhn’s higher-end CCI 100 monitor, still available on all 2012 large square balers.

New plunger load regulation software offers an automatic mode. “This allows the operator to use the plunger load to determine the chamber pressure. If there’s a wet spot in the field, it will adjust accordingly. Or, if there’s a dry spot, it will adjust. It allows the operator to focus less on the bale chamber pressure and let the machine operate itself,” he explains.

The balers each feature 46 plunger strokes per minute, a 10’-long bale chamber, the simplest drive system and heaviest standard flywheel in the industry, Barger says.

Durability is the word to describe what’s new with New Holland’s BB9000 Series large square balers, says Curt Hoffman, brand marketing manager.

“We doubled the thickness of the metal in the pickup bands and then put a reinforcement ridge down the center of the band to make it even more resistant to bending when it goes over top of gopher or badger mounds.

“Anyway you look at it, these big squares run fast in the field. When bands collide with something, most likely a dirt pile, they need to be pretty rigid to skid over the top of dirt,” Hoffman says.

Other changes are software-related, providing data collection including where bales are dropped, their average moisture, total length baled, average pounds of preservative applied per bale – depending in part on whether the tractor has auto-guidance and the b

aler has the CropSaver applicator, electronic bale length and bale weight.

“The big benefit, if you’re a custom operator maybe running multiple units in the field and you’re the guy doing the billing? All of this (data) is saved to a zipstick on the back of the monitor. You can grab the zipstick … and download all of that into Excel and do your billing from Excel.”

As biomass potential increases, Case IH has increased the durability of its LB333 and LB433 large square balers, says Brett Devries, its hay and forage marketing manager.

“We’ve made some product changes to accommodate biomass crops. In the pickup, we have the heavy-duty tines and bands to endure tough conditions. With cornstalks – it’s a pretty messy crop – we have some

 performance kits to keep the needles and knotter area clean so you’re not getting stalks where you shouldn’t, which can cause mis-ties,” he says.

In the past year, Case IH has integrated its technologies to offer operators effective mapping, moisture-sensing and tagging options as well as track fuel efficiency and tons per hour to help manage costs and productivity.

Deere & Co., which recently formed an agreement with Kuhn Group to manufacture John Deere-branded large square balers in Europe and other countries, may have a large square baler introduction in the next couple of years, says Jeremy Unruh, product line manager for baling and mowing.

Watch coming issues of Hay & Forage Growerfor more forage harvesting equipment introductions.