Two new forage bagging machines will be hitting the market this season, filling a need for mid-size units, according to the companies involved.
Ag Bag, a division of Miller, St. Nazianz, WI, will introduce its MX1012 for the fall silage season. Pacbag, based in Astoria, OR, will come out with five of its Track-Pack silage baggers about the same time.
“It’s a transitional machine made for dairies that are growing from 100 or 150 cows up as high as 700,” says Taylor Weisensel of the Ag Bag unit, which comes with interchangeable 10’ and 12’ tunnels.
The machine is designed to keep pace with at least one self-propelled chopper, adds Weisensel, Ag Bag national sales and marketing manager.
The unit’s bag boom rotates 180º, with an electric bag-boom winch lifting the bag cradle, which is permanently attached to the boom. The cradle is also used for mounting the tunnel and tunnel extension, all without the operator having to climb on the bagger, he says.
“For the past number of years, we’ve recognized that there has been a gap in the market,” adds Tim Criddle, director of marketing for Miller. “We needed to fill that void, and that’s where this MX1012 comes in.”
Another of its innovations is a hydraulic tunnel clean-out system, in which the tunnel floor retracts to drop leftover feed straight into the bag.
The price of the unit, which can be containerized for export, hadn’t been determined at presstime. “We’re trying to price it so that an individual farmer can own it, or even a smaller custom operator,” says Weisensel. It will be demonstrated at several farm shows this season.
Pacbag’s Track-Pack silage bagger was also developed in response to the bagger market gap.
“We did some market research and found there was definitely a mid-size market not only in Canada but also throughout North America. Also, if we could build it in such a way that it could be taken apart simply in three or four pieces and containered and put back together once it reached its place, internationally, there’s a good market for it as well,” says Alexis Arthur. She manages the company’s marketing and sales efforts.
Arthur and her father, Bryan Arthur, joined forces with K Manu-facturing owner and engineer Mike Koskela and Bryan Koskela, production/service manager, Astoria, OR.
This spring, a 12’-tunnel prototype is going through a series of compaction and brake system tests. The five machines available this fall will come with 12’ and/or 14’ tunnels. A bagger with a 10’ tunnel will be out in 2013.
A unique aspect about the Pacbag model is that it uses two excavator-style tracks rather than tires. “The tracks, obviously, provide more flotation and traction than a normal tire does – and more stability,” she says. They give the machine compaction, removing the need for a backstop, anchor system or internal packing system and move on any surface.
An additional new feature: The bagger is 100% hydraulically driven. “You are using 95% of that 375-hp engine at all times. On a standard machine, you’re using maximum 75%.”
The feed table and hopper bottom were designed to allow for good compaction, little feed loss under the table and little feed buildup on table sides, Arthur says.
The bagger is easy to move from one place to another, she says. “You can hook it up to a truck and drive it away without having to low-bed it.” It comes with a fifth-wheel hitch and removable transport wheels.