THE 780-HP forage harvester called the Big X is the largest harvester ever displayed in the U.S., according to its manufacturer Krone. The harvester exhibit drew crowds of growers at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY, where it was displayed this winter. Built by Krone in Germany, the Big X forage harvester will be sold in the U.S. this year.

The massive harvester isn't the only new product Krone is offering. In one of its largest rollouts ever, the company is introducing 18 new products to the U.S. market. Here's a look at some of Krone's new implements.

Multi-bale Big Pack

The most unique implement from Krone is the new Big Pack 1270 multi-bale baler. The new baler will tie up to six individual small bales within one large tied bale. This baler is designed for the commercial hay producer who sells to small livestock or horse markets. The large bale is easily transported and easily split into small tied bales that can be moved by hand.

Krone plans a limited release of the baler in the U.S. this year and expects to make a larger introduction next year. The retail price of the Big Pack VFS 1270 is about $80,000.

The implement's bale chamber is 4 ft. × 2 ft. 4 in. and will produce bales from 3 ft. 4 in. to 9 ft. in length. It will pick up a swath between 6 ft. 6 in. and 7 ft. 10 in. wide. The baler features a high-performance cutting mechanism with 26 knives to produce perfect cuts, according to Krone. It also is equipped with a variable fill system that keeps the bale chamber full with highly compressed and well-formed bales.

Big X harvester

Krone's largest harvester, the Big X, comes equipped with a Daimler-Chrysler engine that produces either 605 hp from a V8 model or 780 hp from a V12 model. The powerful engines are needed for the harvester to cut up to 24 acres of grass silage/hr. In corn silage, the machine is equally impressive. The company reports that a grower in New Mexico chopped 2,000 tons of corn silage in 7 hrs. It took only 3 min. to fill one truck. The Big X used only 30 gal. of fuel/hr., Krone adds. The EasyCollect corn head lets the operator cut corn silage across rows.

The Big X features a new chopping cylinder with 28 knives that is designed for high engine power. It boasts an automotive driving mode for lower fuel consumption and a smoother ride. Krone says it designed the cab for maximum comfort and productivity. An information terminal monitors all of the machine's operations.

The base price of the largest Big X machine is $330,000. It may be purchased with a 10- or 13-ft. hay head and an 8-, 10- or 12-row corn head. The 780-hp Big X with 13-ft. hay head and 12-row corn head costs about $420,000.

EasyCut 9000

Krone introduces the new EasyCut 9000 triple mower, with or without a conditioner. The mower requires a tractor with a front PTO hitch. The triple mower combination will cut a swath 28 ft. wide.

The mowers are part of the company's EasyCut series to provide clean and precise mowing. The mower beds are completely enclosed and welded for durability. Everything is replaceable including the extra-wide skids and the cast wear blocks between the discs. Quick-change knives and knife holders are standard. And when the knife holders are worn, only the worn part needs replacing, not the complete disc.

The EasyCut 9000 models retail for $45,000 to $50,000.

EasyCut trailed disc mowers

Krone is marketing five new models of the EasyCut trailed disc mowers. Working width of the models ranges from 9 ft. to 20 ft. 8 in. Depending on the model, the mowers will cut from 7.4 to nearly 20 acres/hr.

Krone says it designed the disc mowers with a center of gravity mounting that provides even surface pressure over the entire working width, which produces a high-quality cut. Quick-release knives are standard with all the EasyCut mowers for quick and easy replacement.

The EasyCut 2800 CV (with conditioner) mower with a 9-ft. working width retails for $16,000. The EasyCut 2800 CRi retails for $18,000. The EasyCut 3200 CV mower with a working width of 10 ft. 4 in. sells for $19,000. The EasyCut 3210 CV retails for $21,000. The EasyCut 6210 CV with a working width of 20 ft. 8 in. retails for $50,000. Circle 208.

For more information, contact Krone Hay & Forage Technology, Dept. FIN, 4985 Outland Center Dr., Memphis, TN 38181, 901/842-6011, or visit www.krone-northamerica.com.