Henty Machinery Field Day News and Current events

 MacDon FD2 wins coveted Henty Machine of the Year award
Kari Sattler, MacDon national sales manager, with the 2022 Henty Machine of the Year Award.

MacDon FD2 wins coveted Henty Machine of the Year award

A flex draper offering more capacity, speed and flex has won the coveted 2022 Henty Machine of the year Award.

The MacDon FD2 Flex Draper, entered by MacDon Australia Pty Ltd, impressed judges with its innovation, design and engineering. 

Highly commended was the John Deere See & Spray™ Select entered by Hutcheon and Pearce.

A total of 22 machines and equipment at the cutting edge of agricultural technology were showcased in the Henty Machine of the Year.

Announced on the opening day, this award is presented to the most outstanding new piece of agricultural machinery exhibited at the field days.

It is judged by an independent panel of five regional primary producers on Monday (September 19) and presented at the field days opening today (September 20).

Judging criteria include the machine’s purpose and suitability, scope of application, construction (durability and design), ease of maintenance and service, ease of operation and adjustment, availability of parts and overall value for money.

Judge Warren Scheetz said the award this year incorporated both 2021 and 2022 entries, and the job to select a winner was a difficult one.

“Competition was extremely close over a broad range of areas between all entrants,” he said.

“The MacDon has increased the performance of the draper front by 20 per cent to match the ever-growing high capacities of the modern day headers.

“MacDon has also increased the flex of the machine by up to 70 per cent over previous models along with the ground following capabilities.

“It is a simple, well-constructed mechanical design featuring ease of use.”

The FD2 FlexDraper is the evolution of the ground following innovation MacDon first brought to market almost 20 years ago. 

MacDon listened and worked with farmers, in the most challenging real-world conditions to result in more sizes, durability and harvesting innovations.

The FD2 boasts an all-new frame that features a super structured five-sided back tube. This solid backbone creates a durable platform to handle the toughest of conditions.

MacDon's ClearCut High-Speed Cutting System delivers clean cutting at up to 30 per cent faster speeds. The improved knife drive has more power and new knife section geometry with 25 per cent more cutting surface.

MacDon national sales manager Kari Sattler said harvesters represented a large investment and needed to keep working. 

“Farmers are taking on more country every year to keep in the game and in doing so you need to able operate fast to beat the weather, get the quality grain in the headers as quickly as we can and keep it moving,” Mr Sattler said.

“We also understand it’s not always easy harvesting, not all our crops are standing so if it’s flat on the ground, we need to scoop that up.

“This machine is designed to cut at less than an inch off the ground to eliminate obstacles such as rocks or sticks from bouncing over so as not to cause damage to the combine or make our samples dirty reducing quality.

“The fact this machine can cut so low yet stay so light on the ground, even in mud it will really shines as it floats on top.

“This machine will flex over contour banks and will rollover a 7 foot high contour bank. It was made deeper to take more material at higher speeds.”

The draper is available from 25 to 50 feet wide, including a 41 foot for controlled traffic, 

Mr Sattler said demand for the MacDon product had been “crazy”.

“We are only able to manufacture 50 per cent of our allocation for the world.”

As a regional resident, Mr Sattler is a long term fan of the Henty Machine of the Year Award.

“You see some up coming brands really having a go and I’ve always thought one day we will get on that list, and here we are.”

Using computer vision and advanced nozzle control technology to target spray weeds in fallow fields, the John Deere Seed & Spray ™Select significantly reduces herbicide use by applying only what is needed.

When using the targeted spray, small cameras integrated in the boom continuously scan the paddock and send data to the sprayer’s vision processing unit.

Once weeds are identified, specific nozzles are activated to target spray them. The number of nozzles activated can vary based on weed pressure within that area of the paddock. 

When necessary, the sprayer can switch from targeted spraying to broadcast spraying, all with the push of a button on the in-cab display. 

Mr Scheetz said the John Deere See and Spray™ Select System uses a combination of cameras and processes to detect weeds before activating the required nozzles to apply chemical with high accuracy.

“This reduces chemical applications by up to 77 per cent over traditional blanket broadcast, thus reducing input costs and chemical use,” he said.

“Henty continues to showcase the latest in agricultural technology and the entrants have certainly excelled this year.”

Hutcheon and Pearce sales operations manager Andrew Watt said what set the machine apart was its ability to both broadcast and selectively spray at the same time at high speeds and in low light conditions.

“Coupled with that is the ability to not just look at the different colours but also detecting the images as they come towards it – it sets the foundation to add in green on green, weed detection and stand counts,” Mr Watt said.

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