The new Fendt Katana 650 self-propelled forage harvester is now available to order following its UK launch at LAMMA and world debut at Agritechnica.

The 650 replaces the outgoing 65, has a price tag of £418,263 and will be out on test this summer and for delivery in 2021.

Balance of power and efficiency are the key aims, said Fendt. “The combination of power improvements, cab refinements and enhanced cutting ability make this machine a real step forward for Fendt,” said Dan Woodward, Fendt’s forage products specialist. “I don’t think an operator using a 700hp alternative would find the Katana any less powerful in the real world. We are really excited about bringing this new model to the UK.”

The Katana 650 has more power (plus 25hp) added to the existing MTU six-cylinder in-line engine, to bring it up to 650hp overall. It also boasts a new intake and processing system which improves crop flow and increases cutting capacity.

For the operator, the new cab brings a quieter driving experience facilitated by coated glass which has reduced noise levels by three decibels, and also benefits from improved ventilation.

Fendt’s ‘BalancedGrip’ all-wheel drive system makes the new model more versatile and provides greater stability in hilly fields. “BalancedGrip takes data from a gyroscope and detects the weight transfer on all corners of the harvester to manage which wheels power should be sent to. This makes it ideal for almost any field type and gives the machine greater stability,” added Mr Woodward.

Cutting speed, efficiency and longevity of the knives has also been enhanced, while two new roller conditioners, new crackers that expand the cut length to 30mm, and an enlarged 300mm roll diameter have increased the flow capacity by 21%. However, the new machine also boasts a drop in fuel consumption of 12%.

The ergonomics of the new machine is a feature Fendt believes will help position the Katana as a potential market leader. Mr Woodward pointed out: “I’ve driven this new model and for me the comfort and quiet that has been achieved will make it attractive to farmers and contractors. The seating position and controls are designed around the operator to the extent that even the thumb controls for the header and spout have been reversed to make them more intuitive.”

The new model’s in-cab ventilation system uses a variable fan that features a reverse function which can be triggered by the operator automatically from the cab. The fan controls the air flow by adjusting the angle of each blade. This clears the coolers of deposits and fine dust particles which reduces the need for time consuming interruptions during long periods of use.

“We see it as a way to utilise downtime. Whilst the wagon is unloading, the operator can engage the fan and be ready to go when the wagon returns,” said Mr Woodward.

Maintenance is easier due to better access, with new service openings giving direct access to the knives, which also get a new knife sharpening system that adjusts continuously to reduce wear and provide a smoother, more consistent chop.

Fendt has also launched new grassland machinery capable of working better on undulating land. These include a mower and three tedders.

The front-mounted Slicer FQ mower and a range of tedders including the 770, 1020 T and 1250 T will be demonstrated by Fendt at Grassland and Muck in May.

The mower is suspended on a frame which provides more flexible movement making it better suited to undulating land. It is available in the UK from spring 2020.

“This is an exciting new product for farmers who have the challenge of cutting grass on undulating and hilly land. It can be adjusted easily to allow one side to be as much as 650mm higher than the other and there is movement available at every corner making it perfect for difficult to cut fields,” said Sam Treadgold, product support specialist for grass equipment.

It is available in two widths, 3.1m and 3.62m, and can be specified with tine or roller conditioners.

The new range of Fendt tedders include two trailed (1020 T and 1250 T) and one mounted (770) machines. Each has a ‘hook’ tine design for higher output, without digging into the soil.

Extra pivot points on the frame give operators more control on difficult and undulating land.