This study presents two-year results on the performance of the Corner Machinery Type 1300 flail forage harvester during the first-cut grass silage making process. The experiment was conducted on a family farm in Western Serbia, on a 3.8 ha plot of sown grassland producing a grass yield of 25.5 to 29.20 t ha-1. The harvester was drawn by a 35 kW Ursus 3512 tractor. Under field operating conditions, at an average operating speed of 2.156 km h-1, the harvester achieved throughput capacity of about 7 t h-1 and a cutting efficiency of 0.176 ha h-1 depending on operating speed, cutting width, yield, plot size and work organisation. The average fuel consumption and energy requirement were 16.02 L ha-1 and 764.154 MJ ha-1, respectively. Due to simultaneous mowing, chopping and loading of the forage material into a trailer, the harvester had a high engine power requirement of 28.69 kW m-1 relative to the cutting width. During the ensiling operation, working time requirement was highest for forage cutting and loading (52.89%), followed by transport of loaded trailers (17.80%) and transport of unloaded trailers (15.87%). The harvester showed satisfactory performance as chop length was mostly below 50 mm on average in about 58.25% of the plant material, this value being in agreement with livestock nutritionists’ recommendations. During silage making from different plants on small family farms, the harvester achieved reliability and satisfactory performance, without coming to standstills due to breakdowns.
Key words: Grass silage, forage harvester, performance, operating speed, efficiency, fuel consumption.
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