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Innovation propelling Keenan forward
A burst of developmental work has been ongoing at the
Keenan production facility in Borris, Co. Carlow, since joining
the Alltech family in 2016. A renewed energy has been
invested into design, innovation and technology, the company
says, to ensure that its offering `exceeds the demands
of tomorrow's agricultural requirements and to meet
customer demand'. One such demand was the production
of a self-propelled MechFiber mixer wagon. In response, the
company says it has invested significantly in one of the most
exciting and innovative machines that has been launched
to date, the Keenan MechFiber345SP self-propelled feeder.
Keenan focused on researching the loading and chopping
mechanisms available on the market to ensure the best fit.
Of highest importance was identifying a solution consistent
with the core Keenan ethos of retaining forage structure. With
Italian firm, Storti, Keenan identified a partner that can deliver
this much-sought-after, self-loading technology. With class-
leading cutter head technology, the Keenan MechFiber345SP
feeder has been engineered to deliver rapid loading of a vast
array of products, leaving a clean, uniform face for optimum
pit-face management. The tungsten-coated blades feature a
unique crossed arrangement, performing clean cuts without
damaging the structure of the fibre, even with very compact
silages. Extensive testing at the French National Institute
for Agricultural Research (INRA) in 2012 demonstrated the
ability of the Storti-designed cutter head and loading arm to
outperform the competition in areas such as fibre destruction,
loading speed and fuel usage. With farmers spending long
working days in the cab, the Keenan MechFiber345SP has
been designed to offer the ultimate in operator comfort and
control. Visibility is maximised with twin video cameras and
in-cab display monitor, while the slim line steering column
further optimises the exposure and driver view. Other in-cab
features include climate control, pneumatic seat and a 4.5-
inch digital display, where drivers can easily monitor machine
performance. For the 2018 season, the MechFiber345SP is
available with 16m3 capacity and a road speed of 25km/h.
Complementing the mechanical performance of the Keenan
self-propelled mixer wagon is the InTouch controller that
comes fitted as standard. InTouch is a live review and support
service with skilled nutritionists using unique technology to
ensure your animals get exactly what they need every day.
Double-row planting with Poettinger's Aerosem
High-cost effectiveness, versatility and convenience these
are cited as the key advantages of the new duplex seed
drilling process, available on Poettinger Aerosem PCS seed
drill models. With duplex seed, silage and corn maize is
planted in double rows. In addition to increasing yield, it
also increases output during drilling thanks to the higher
driving speed.
"Duplex seed is a real economical alternative to
conventional precision seed drilling. The maize can be
planted flexibly with a companion crop or with direct
fertilisation. The double row is also suitable for corn maize
harvesting," a Poettinger spokesperson said.
"Aerosem PCS offers the highest level of convenience
with one seed drill for cereals and maize thanks to its
ability to change quickly between seed types. Further key
advantages include direct control of the seed flow as well as
monitoring of each maize row. Aerosem PCS was tested and
its efficiency was confirmed: the increase in yield recorded
with silage maize and corn maize was up to 5.5 per cent. In
2016, large scale tests were performed in Hungary, Austria,
Germany, and France. The results provided unequivocal
proof: with duplex seed, a significant increase in yield was
achieved at all locations. In addition, it delivers an increase
in performance thanks to the higher driving speed with
an increased hectare output. Double-row drilling with the
Aerosem also provides better erosion protection because it
does not leave behind additional wheel marks."
The Aerosem ADD with duplex seed features double rows
of offset plants with a spacing of 12.5cm. The row spacing
between each set of double rows is 75cm (pictured above).
The spokesperson contnued: "Planting maize in a double
row creates the perfect distribution density conditions:
more light, more water and more nutrients. Moreover, the
whole maize crop can absorb more sunlight because the
plants do not shade each other as much as in a conventional
formation. Increased photosynthesis is the result. Thanks
to the wider spacing, the maturing phase is optimised with
potential for less dampness especially with corn maize.
"Compared to single rows, there is also less erosion risk
thanks to improved plant distribution density. Ground
shade is also improved with double rows, reducing water
losses, suppressing late weeds and promoting rapid row
Double rows can be harvested in exactly the same way as
single rows using standard maize headers.
Forage & Nutrition Guide 2018