Forage Innovations

We are always looking for a better way. With 50 years of round baling under our belt, the Vermeer legacy is strong, but the future is even brighter.

From the industry’s first wagon hoist to pioneering the first large round baler, Vermeer inventions have helped farmers get their work done quickly and efficiently. The Forage Solutions teams is committed to the cattle producer by providing forage and feeding solutions to their operation. Looking to tackle big challenges and solutions such as limited labor, desire for automation and preventive maintenance.

Concepts found under Forage Innovations are currently not available for sale but are ideas our teams are actively working on to help improve producers’ hay operations.

Autonomous bale mover

An autonomous machine tasked with the heavy lifting

The entire haymaking process is all about time. It’s not only important to cut, dry and bale hay at the right time and moisture level, but producers also need to haul and store bales in a timely fashion to help the next crop start right. That’s exactly what a new concept at Vermeer aims to do. Nicknamed “Bale Hawk,” this autonomous bale mover is designed to help producers reduce the need for labor by moving bales from where they are dropped in the field to the field’s edge or a storage area.

The machine travels around the field autonomously by a suite of onboard sensors to locate bales, pick them up and move them to a predetermined location set by the owner. Right now, the concept machine can pick up and move up to three bales at a time.

By taking a human pass out of the process and letting the machine do the work, operators can spend more time focused on different projects on their operation, while still getting their crop off the field in a timely fashion.

*Concept machine only. Currently not available for sale.

Automated baling assistance technology

Continuing the automation journey of self-propelled balers

The ZR5-1200 self-propelled baler was the first of its kind when it was introduced back in 2017. Producers across North America have benefited from the in-cab automation, which helps reduce the steps in the baling process, down to one. The automated baling assistance technology’s goal is to help producers make the most ideal bale, in the most efficient way. Using a suite of sensors, the system tracks and follows the windrow and steers the machine, helping to reduce the learning curve of making square-shouldered bales.

*Currently not available for sale.

Onboard bearing temperature sensors

Onboard bearing temperature sensors

A new way to keep an eye on predictive maintenance

A failed bearing on your baler, and the repairs associated, never seems to happen at an optimal time. The onboard bearing thermometer concept by Vermeer assists operators by alerting them when preventative maintenance is necessary to help keep your baler running when it’s “go time.”

Multiple sensors are placed directly on the high-use bearings and connect wirelessly to the baler’s control system. With onboard bearing temperature sensors, operators are able to see real-time temperature readings on the control system monitor in the cab. If thermometer readings reach a certain temperature, indicators turn from green to yellow indicating the operator should inspect or perform maintenance and then red when the operator should stop for immediate inspection.

Balers in high-use situations like 604R Premium balers and ZR5-1200 self-propelled balers will likely be the first machines with onboard bearing thermometers available on bearings associated with high-use rollers.

*Currently not available for sale. Technology displayed on ZR5-1200 self-propelled baler control system.

Forage Commander app

Bale and customer data at operator's fingertips

In today’s era where there are apps for everything, the Vermeer team believes there is an opportunity to have an app for making hay. The Vermeer Forage Commander app, currently being tested by the team, is designed to collect and manage field data produced by balers and give producers a new way to track their progress and productivity. The app will connect via Bluetooth to the data gateway unit located on the baler. Whenever the user’s smart device is within range of the baler, it will automatically sync to provide the latest information. By tracking field and cutting data, the app will let producers see a wide range of field statistics, such as bales per field, bale weight (if scale is equipped), average bale moisture, bales per hour and more.

Ideal for helping custom operators streamline their work, all the data can be paired with the customer manager widget of the app that keeps the information sorted by customer and field. The baling data and customer information will allow Forage Commander to generate an invoice directly from the app that can be emailed to the custom operator’s customer. Producers can also manually enter other custom work (hauling manure, for example) on the invoice and even charge at their pre-defined rates by job.

*Currently not available for sale.

Forage Commander app