See what’s on its way to next week’s Grass & Muck

Kuhn is one of many manufacturers that is now transporting machines to Gurteen College in Co. Tipperary – for next week’s Grass & Muck event.

If you’re going expect to see several mowers – including a rear-mounted FC 314 D (3.1m), a trailed (side-pull) FC 3160 TLD (3.1m) and a big (combination) FC 9530 D that includes a front-mounted FC 3125 DF (9.5m in total).

There will also be a GF 8712 (eight rotors; mounted and trailed versions) on-site, as well as rakes. Contractors (and farmers too) keen on wrappers can watch an RW 1810 working on the day.

Look out for the innovative i-BIO+ (pictured below) too. It’s an especially compact combination baler-wrapper, in which wrapping takes places “inside” the bale-forming chamber.

Wrapping is taken care of by Kuhn’s so-called IntelliWrap system, which allows the operator to select the number of film layers and to adjust the amount of film overlap.

The i-BIO+’s wrapping ring allows film to be applied at up to 50 revolutions per minute.

One of the biggest attractions on Kuhn’s plot will be a new combination baler-wrapper – namely the FBP 3135 Bale Pack; it will be finished in an “eye-catching” livery that will apparently be “easy to spot”.

This machine incorporates ‘film binding’ – otherwise colloquially known as the ‘film-on-film’ system.

The growing manufacturer is represented here in Ireland by Cork-based Kuhn Center Ireland.

Interestingly, Kuhn is celebrating 190 years in business this year. Moreover, it’s also heralding over 50 years in the disc mower market.

Kuhn’s first “mechanical mowers” were finger-bar machines. By 1960, the company was churning out more than 12,000 of these each year (from its factory in Saverne, France).

In 1967, Kuhn launched what it claims was the “world’s first rotary disc mower” – namely the GMD 4 (pictured below).

It brought numerous advantages; it did away with the need to constantly sharpen the cutter-bar, for example. It was also a relatively fast machine – for its time.

By the mid-1970s Kuhn had embarked on the manufacture of mower-conditioners. The FC 44 (pictured below) was an example of such a machine; it was equipped with a steel-fingered rotor.

The 1980s saw the arrival of Kuhn’s first trailed mower-conditioner – the FC 300. A significant number of these found their way to Ireland.

The drive for ever-increasing levels of output saw the arrival of the big Alterna 500 (pictured below) in 1992. Kuhn describes it as the “first trailed mower with a length-ways transport system”.

This machine was especially noteworthy for its monstrous (for its time) 5m working width.

Developments continued thereafter at pace. For example, a new ‘Lift Control‘ system was developed for mounted GMD and FC models in 1994.

The so-called ‘OptiDisc‘ disc holders arrived in 2005; these improved crop-flow through Kuhn’s larger machines.

Most recently, in 2017, Kuhn introduced a new blade (knife) design – claimed to multiply average blade life by up to five times (albeit in some scenarios only).

What will the future hold for Kuhn – and the broader mower market? Only time will tell…