By: Derek Bontrager, Equipment Sales
With hay season quickly approaching, you may be thinking about updating your round baler. With four series to choose from, we like to joke that Krone’s round baler lineup is fit for Goldilocks: there’s a baler for everyone! Let’s take a look at the Bellima, Fortima, Comprima and VariPack and see which series is not too big and not too small, but just right for your operation.
The Bellima series has simple, economical options. They are only offered in a 4’x4’ bale size with twine or net wrap. Bellima models have no electronics, minimal hydraulic requirements, and can be operated by a 45-horsepower tractor. Bales are made in a fixed chamber utilizing a chain-and-bar elevator design that has been around for 40-plus years.
The next step up from Bellima is the Fortima series. They offer Krone’s proven EasyFlow camless pickup, which requires more than 50% fewer wear parts than cam-style pickups. The pickup on a Fortima baler is 6’9” wide to accommodate small or large windrows. Fortima balers come factory-ready to bale wet or dry hay and even offer cutting knives for making silage bales. Available in fixed or variable chamber styles, they have the ability to make bales in sizes 4’ wide and 3’-6’ tall. Depending on the baler model, tractor requirements range from 65-110 horsepower. Fortima balers require minimal hydraulics and have simple monitors that are easy to learn regardless of your technology comfort level.
As our most popular baler, Comprima is the go-to series for livestock producers or custom haymakers. The Comprima models also offer Krone’s EasyFlow camless pickup with a 7’1” working width—one of the widest pickups on the market. Comprima balers include Krone’s NovoGrip baling elevator system with the ability to “grip” the crop better than a belt baler. This creates maximum baling densities in nearly any crop or condition. Krone offers a 3-year/30,000-bale warranty on the quiet-running NovoGrip system. Comprimas are offered as semi-variable or variable chamber balers with or without cutting knives, making bale sizes 4’ wide and up to 6’ tall. On top of hay, these balers can be used for baleage, straw or cornstalks. The Comprima baler can also be ordered as a baler/wrapper combination unit, capable of making and wrapping silage bales in a nearly continuous operation. Comprima balers require tractors with 75-160 horsepower and come with several monitor options, including full ISOBUS controls.
Not only is the VariPack series the newest to the Krone lineup, but they’re the first Krone balers offered with endless belts. The four-belt design paired with a variable chamber creates solid, well-formed bales in either 4’x5’ or 4’x6’ sizes. VariPacks also offer the 7’1” EasyFlow pickup utilized on other Krone balers. The VariPack comes with a quick-close rear door, which opens, ejects bales, and closes within five seconds. Some other features include large high-flotation tires and a 3-stage baling pressure system conveniently operated from the monitor in the tractor cab. Net wrap is also a standard specification, as is a chain oiler. VariPack balers require 80-110 horsepower tractors. This dry baler is especially popular in the southern region of the U.S.
Regardless if you’re a hobbyist, a livestock producer, or a serious custom haymaker, Krone has a round baler for you. For questions about any of the Krone round baler models or which would be the best fit for your hay-makin’ needs, feel free to call me (319.430.3813) or stop in.