CASE IH has plans to introduce a new multi-row sugar cane harvester to the Australian market in 2014.
The company, which manufactures its sugar harvesters in Brazil, currently offers two single-row machines in Australia – the rubber-tracked 8000 and the steel-tracked 8800.
The new multi-row harvester will be a tracked machine that will be part of the 8800 series.
Case IH regional sales manager for Queensland and NSW and product manager for sugar cane harvesters Dale Chapple, Townsville, said there were 50 prototypes of the new machine being operated in Brazil.
“We are bringing out a machine from Brazil to be tested in Australian conditions before it goes into production,” he said.
“The multi-row machine will only be offered as a tracked machine. It will have a different configuration on the front end and a wider track spacing, taking it from 1.88 metres to 2.4 metres track spacing.
“The planting configuration will determine how many rows it will be able to harvest.
“It will be very flexible and will be able to be used in a range of row spacings we have in Australia from 1.5 metres to 2m. Some is single row, some dual row.”
Mr Chapple said the multi-row machine would be able to work in all those configurations.
“It will allow greater harvesting efficiencies and, particularly in years of low yields, the machine will make it more profitable to harvest the low-yielding crops,” he said.