Show and tell was at the order of the day when the top round balers converged recently to show their steel in the Valtrac and Farmboek baling competition on Vlakfontein, farm of Jonathan van Aswegen, near Parys.

The competition was the first of its kind in South Africa and the result of a notion that sales talk and sparkling, spotless machines on the showroom floor did not offer enough to the farmer to base a decision on when it comes to buying suitable equipment . . . but seeing is believing!

The tension for the competition rose by degrees when an early shower fell to dampen the grass that was mowed and harrowed in 400 metre windrows the previous day, making it too wet for baling. A conditioner was employed and shortly before midday the material was dry enough, again in lying windrows, ready for the big baling contest.

Balers competed in two categories – adjustable chamber balers – which attracted three entries – and fixed-chamber balers, where eight entries were received. All balers started working at the same time.

It became a stiff competition. A number of unnecessary mistakes were made and the race became even harder and more stressful. After all the balers passed the winning post, every bale was weighed and measured to determine, amongst others, how dense the balers baled and the tonnage per hour.

André Groenewald of Farmboek calculated the intricate formulae before finally announcing the winners.

The Krone Comprima of RovicLeers was adjudicated winner in the adjustable chamber category and Northmec’s Welger RP 245 winner in the fixed-chamber category.

In die fixed chamber category Valtrac’s Kuhn FB 3130 was placed second with 44,82 points out of 50, and Jupidex’s McHale F5500 third with 38,79 points.

The RovicLeers Krone Comprima V180 was first at the winning post and won the adjustable chamber category with 50 out of a possible 50 points. Willie Human is the branch manager and Nardo Schutte (operator) the technical manager of their Johannesburg branch.
The final stretch before the winning post resulted in a nail-biting finish, especially when a stubborn bale got stuck and refused to drop to mother earth.
Northmec’s enthusiastic team, with their Lely Welger RP 245 Xtracut, won the fixed-chamber category with 47,33 out of 50 points.
André Groenewald and his Farmboek team weighed and measured every bale to determine the real winner in the categories.