New Fendt forager combines power and comfort

The new Fendt Katana 650 self-propelled forage harvester is now available to order following its UK launch at LAMMA and world debut at Agritechnica. The 650 replaces the outgoing 65, has a price tag of £418,263 and will be available to test in the summer of 2020 for delivery in 2021.

The Katana 650 offers more power, with 25 horsepower added to the existing MTU 6-cylinder in-line engine, to bring it up to 650hp overall. It also boasts a new intake and processing system which improves crop flow and increases cutting capacity. New roller conditioner crackers have been introduced to improve the quality of the harvested crop and reduce the power and fuel requirement. For the operator, the new cab brings a quieter driving experience facilitated by coated glass which has reduced noise levels by three decibels, and also benefits from improved ventilation.

Fendt’s ‘BalancedGrip’ all-wheel drive system makes the new model more versatile and provides greater stability in undulating fields. “BalancedGrip takes data from a gyroscope and detects the weight transfer on all corners of the harvester to manage which wheels power should be sent to. This makes it ideal for almost any field type and gives the machine greater stability,” says Dan.

The cutting speed, efficiency and longevity of the knives has also been enhanced in the new model. Two new roller conditioners, new crackers that expand the cut length to 30mm, and an enlarged 300mm roll diameter have increased the flow capacity by 21%. However, the new machine also boasts a drop in fuel consumption of 12%.

The ergonomics of the new machine is a feature Fendt believes will help position the Katana as a potential market leader. Dan says: “I’ve driven this new model and for me the comfort and quiet that has been achieved will make it attractive to farmers and contractors. The seating position and controls are designed around the operator to the extent that even the thumb controls for the header and spout have been reversed to make them more intuitive.”

The new model’s in-cab ventilation system uses a variable fan that features a reverse function which can be triggered by the operator automatically from the cab. The fan controls the air flow by adjusting the angle of each blade. It therefore clears the coolers of deposits and fine dust particles which reduces the need for time consuming interruptions during long periods of use. “We see it as a way to utilise downtime. Whilst the wagon is unloading the operator can engage the fan and be ready to go when the wagon returns,” says Dan.

Maintenance has also been considered, with the design of the new harvester giving operators better access to the heart of the machine. New service openings give direct access to the knives which helps to maintain moving parts more easily and safely. Fendt has also introduced a new knife sharpening system that adjusts continuously to reduce wear and provide a smoother, more consistent chop.