A new self-propelled forage harvester brand was introduced in Europe last fall, and it might be headed for the U.S.

Agco’s Fendt Katana 65 will be field-tested in North America in the near future, says Todd Stucke, the company’s director of marketing, hay & harvesting.

The 650-hp chopper was designed and built in Germany by engineers at Fendt, known for its high-tech tractors.

“We probably wouldn’t have made the plunge into that highly competitive and limited-volume market without the idea that we could offer something better and different because of the technology that Fendt’s able to bring to the table,” says Reid Hamre, an Agco brand marketing manager.

Hamre says the Katana 65 utilizes the brand’s continuously variable transmission (CVT) technology, which matches the engine with its electronic controls.

“Every application we’ve gone into in tractors and now the TerraGator application equipment, where we put the Fendt-invented CVT technology in it, we find pretty consistently that we can deliver significant fuel savings,” he says.

Combining the CVT technology with the Fendt engineers’ driveline expertise also results in optimum productivity, he adds. “They know how to design machines that are using the CVT to allow you to produce at the optimum level at all times.”

A Fendt press release emphasizes the new chopper’s unique features.

“The chopping drum, with a 720-mm diameter, is the largest on the market, and the intake area with six rollers guarantees constant crop feed for all cutting lengths,” it reads.

The crop processor is said to be completely different and more efficient.

The machine has a 16-liter, V8 Mercedes engine, and the header utilizes Kemper technology. It has been under development for several years, and two prototypes have harvested thousands of acres of corn and grass, according to the release.

Hamre says the addition of the chopper brings Agco closer to becoming a full-line farm equipment supplier.

“We’re striving to become a stronger company in the harvesting side of agricultural equipment in general – better, more competitive combines; better, more competitive hay equipment; and then this initiative with getting into the forage harvester segment of the business with the Fendt Katana,” he says.

Stucke says higher-horsepower forage harvesters can be expected from the company in coming years.

“We’ll start with 650 and it will go up from there,” he says. “We’ll make sure that we address each segment of the industry in future years.”