John Deere’s all-new 900 Series variable chamber round balers feature a revolutionary Fast Release System (FRS), which can lead to savings of up to an hour a day during harvest. These unique balers will be available in limited quantities this year, before full commercial production begins for the 2012 season.Designed specifically for use by contractors and large livestock farms, the new 960 and 990 balers employ state-of-the-art technology to significantly improve baler output, bale density and operator comfort. In addition, built-in reliability and durability are provided by the exclusive full-frame design, which relieves the entire bale chamber from external stress.FRS speeds up the bale ejection process by enabling the operator to unload the completed bale in less than five seconds, which is up to 10 seconds faster than a conventional machine. It employs a unique ’curtain’ design, which replaces the traditional heavy rear door.As a further aid to increased productivity and efficiency, innovative side panels have replaced the usual bale chamber side walls. During bale formation, these flexible panels ensure that the baler reaches maximum capacity, and also open slightly as the bale is ejected, to prevent any risk of the bale jamming in the chamber. The 960 and 990 balers are available with a choice of 2.2m wide RotoFlow or MaxiCut 13 or 25-knife precutter pick-ups, and produce bale diameters from 80 to 160cm and 80 to 185cm respectively. For improved crop flow and enhanced reliability, the newly designed high capacity pick-up uses five rows of tines instead of the four on traditional models. The balers are also equipped with a new drop-floor unplugging system, which operates over the total width of the rotor.Maximum bale density is provided by the new MaxD bale chamber design, which means fewer bales per hectare need to be wrapped, handled and transported. This design features an offset density arm that transmits optimal tension to two wide endless belts, each 573mm wide. Three powered rollers inside the chamber also make starting the bale easier, especially in wet conditions.The net wrapping system is now located at the front of the baler to allow continuous visual control of the wrapping process. The net is pulled directly into the bale chamber and plugging is therefore avoided, whatever type of net (CoverEdge or Edge to Edge) or net length is being used.To further improve efficiency, especially during long working days, the new 900 Series balers are ISOBUS certified and can be equipped with a GreenStar 1800 display. This controls most of the key machine settings and functions, including bale density and size, soft core pressure and diameter, knife selection and operation of the drop-floor unplugging system.The SIMA 2011 Gold Medal award winning Tractor Implement Automation (TIA) system will also be available as an option on the 900 Series balers, from 2012. When operated with a tractor featuring ISOBUS, a continuously variable transmission and electronic SCVs, this baler automation system also significantly reduces the harvest workload – instead of the driver having to stop the tractor to open and close the rear of the baler, TIA manages everything using simple fingertip controls to complete the baling process.