High-quality forage with Vicon FixBale 500

High-quality forage with Vicon FixBale 500

The swaths of grass left behind the combine provide high-quality forage says Dorset seed producer Nigel Friend from the 540-acre R Shepard Partnership, Lower Farm in United Kingdom. 

“Our rotation includes single-species grass which is high in sugar, and our experience has proved the only way to bale those swaths successfully is with a fixed chamber baler.” Nigel uses a heavy-duty Vicon FixBale 500, chosen for its 18-roller bale chamber which includes 50mm diameter bearings and double-row roller bearings used on all main load points.

“We bale silage, haylage, hay and straw in equal amounts, and it doesn’t matter what you feed in through the wide pickup – the end result is always the same,” he adds. “The 3,000 or so bales we make each season are tightly packed cylindrical shapes.” Nigel uses clear film to wrap all forage, making it easy to see the quality inside. Bales are stacked on end for simplicity and safety.

Fixed Chamber round balers - VICON FIXBALE 500, specialist baler for heavy silage conditions with low power requirments for efficient operation

“Our straw bale weight for example, has increased by over 25%, up from 186kg to 236kg, and every bale is superb and very easy to handle,” he says.  “I had a blockage one night when using knives in silage, but the drop-floor meant it was very easy to unblock and carry on. I never had to leave the cab.” Used with a Focus 3 controller, Nigel says density settings are easy to change and the low loading height for rolls of net is also a positive.

“As a seed grower, I do like the overall cleanliness of the baler,” he says. “There’s very few places on the baler where dust and debris can sit, so it’s really easy to clean down using just a leaf blower.”

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