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DISCO sets a new world record

CLAAS mower is put to the test

CLAAS Customer Tate Mesbergen saw the details of a world record harvest with a disc mower and knew the question wasn't whether he could break the record . . . but by how much?

DISCO sets a new world record

CLAAS mower is put to the test

CLAAS Customer Tate Mesbergen saw the details of a world record harvest with a disc mower and knew the question wasn't whether he could break the record . . . but by how much?

The goal - break the standing world record harvest of 238 acres (96.29 ha) in 8 hours . . .

Tate Mesbergen of Mesbergen Farms feels the need for speed -- and so do his customers. After all, when the alfalfa is ready to cut, the farmers and local dairies north of Greeley, Colorado, don’t want any delays that could affect the value of their crop or quality of their feed. Fortunately, for those customers, Mesbergen Farms doesn’t disappoint.

Tate’s father, Harvey, began running JAGUAR forage harvesters made by CLAAS when he first started his custom cutting business more than 20 years ago. With the help of his sons Troy and Tate, and Tate’s wife Carly, the family operation is more productive than ever before. And while Harvey still prefers to run the CLAAS JAGUAR, his son Tate runs their triple mower conditioner, a DISCO 1100 RC, behind the wheel of their AXION 880 tractor. Both the mower and tractor are also made by CLAAS.

Last November, the Mesbergens joined a trip hosted by CLAAS to visit the company’s manufacturing facilities in Germany and France. As part of that trip, the tour group made a stop in Hannover, Germany, to visit Agritechnica, the world’s largest farm show.

 

“We were walking around the farm show and saw a banner claiming that another manufacturer held the world record for the most hectares harvested with a triple mower in an 8 hour period,” explained Tate. “I was with my dealer at the time and told him I thought I could break the record.”

 

The Mesbergen family with Cathrina Claas-Mühlhäuser at Agritechnica in Hannover, Germany. From left to right: Troy, Tate, Carly, Ms. Claas-Mühlhäuser, Beverly, and Harvey Mesbergen.

"At a reception that night, I had the opportunity to meet Cathrina Claas-Mühlhäuser, the Chairwoman of the CLAAS Supervisory Board. When I mentioned the record, she told me to go for it!  So we did.”

Not everything went as planned.

“We had a thunderstorm come through the day before the attempt that dropped a half inch (12.7 mm) of rain and made the fields wetter than usual. It delayed our start by a few hours and made for a wet first field.” Tate also made two unscheduled stops during his attempt. The first stop was between the first and second fields. “I hit a chunk of cement in first field and wanted to confirm that I hadn’t damaged the mower. We did a quick inspection and both the blades and cutterbar looked fine.” The other stop was to inspect the DISCO mower before getting on the road to move to another field.

The prior record attempt was made in grass, not alfalfa, with a mower without a conditioner. A much easier task. According to Andreas Saile, CLAAS Product Manager for Balers and Hay Tools, “The DISCO 1100 RC has a full-width rubber roller conditioner that puts a crimp on the alfalfa crop for faster dry down and maximum leaf retention. The conditioner makes the mower a little heavier and it requires more horsepower, but it didn’t slow Tate down.” During his attempt, Tate cut an impressive 2.34 dry tons/ac (5.24 t/ha) of alfalfa.

One last big hurdle - even though Mesbergen had confidence he could easily break the record, all the acres to cut were not in the same field.  Tate would need to move between 4 separate fields while the clock was running, and that would cut into his productivity. In the end, the fields were close enough together that Tate wouldn't lose too much time, but he still spent around 30 minutes of the 8 hour timeframe getting from field to field.

 

The new champion.

On July 1, 2018, just after noon, Tate put the hammer down on his triple mower in front of about 40 witnesses who came to cheer him on. Exactly eight hours later, he stepped out of the cab of his tractor as the new world record holder. A survey crew and independent witnesses would later confirm that Tate had cut a total of 348.7 acres (141.1 hectares) in four different fields, beating the previous record by more than 100 ac (40.5 ha).

 

Reaching a maximum speed of 19 mph (30 kph) in the field and more than 30 mph (50 kph) between fields, Tate averaged 43.6 ac/h (17.6 ha/h) in his world record attempt. “Not all of the fields were close together, so the ability to fold the mowers quickly for transport and make good time on the roads was key,” explained Tate.

The 8-hours world record

Facts and figures

Time frame:July 1, 2018  12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Machine:AXION 880 with DISCO 1100 RC and 3500 FRC
Working time:8 hours
Crop type:Alfalfa averaging 2.34 t/ac (5.24 t/ha)
Harvested area:

348.7 ac (141.1 ha)

4 separate fields

Average cutting:43.6 ac/hr (17.6 ha/h)
Maximum cutting speed:19 mph (30 km/h)
Maximum road speed:30 mph (50 km/h)