THIS YEAR has seen the earliest start to the silage season for some time.

Despite recent cold winds keeping a lid on grass growth, silage-making got underway to test out some new kit at Grassmillside Farm, Kilmaurs. The new Kuhn Merge Maxx 950 windrower was making its first appearance in South-west Scotland, courtesy of a demo by local dealer, Agricar.

Aimed at large-scale grassland farms and contractors, this impressive piece of kit uses two adjustable, variable width and bi-directional merger belts to give a maximum grass mowing width of 9.5m in a single pass.

The bi-directional design of the twin belts provides multiple windrow delivery options – ie, forage can be delivered into a single central windrow, a single lateral windrow (left or right side), two lateral windrows (one either side), or a central and left or right lateral windrow.

This means it can collect up to 18m into a single windrow from two passes, or – in light crop situations such as a multi-cut silage system – collect up to 27m of grass into one windrow from three passes.

Pick-up and windrow width can be adjusted to suit the quantity and type of forage material being harvested, thus enabling the number of passes and associated costs to be reduced. For lateral windrows, the windrow width can be varied between 1-1.5m. For central windrows, the windrow can be up to 2.2m in width.

The Merge Maxx will be one of the stars on show at the forthcoming Scotgrass 2019 event at the SRUC's Crichton Farm, Dumfries, organised by the AEA. That is being held on Wednesday, May 15 and is being supported by The Scottish Farmer.