Farmers offer first impressions of Vermeer self-propelled baler

Slideshow: After riding in the cab during a field demonstration in Nebraska, farmers share their critiques of the ZR5.

Curt Arens, Editor, Nebraska Farmer

September 14, 2017

4 Slides

Nebraska Farmer was there in the field at Broken Bow, Neb., when Vermeer first unveiled and demonstrated its "first-in-the-world" ZR5 self-propelled baler prototype. After demonstrating how the new baler maneuvered under field conditions, farmers were allowed to ride in the cab with a Vermeer engineer to see first-hand how the machine operated and baled hay in the field.

The demonstrations let producers get an up-close look at the automated quarter-turn wrapping and delivery system in a rolling alfalfa field. They also got a look at specialized cab features that tracked in-field efficiencies and offered numerous capabilities that helped fight operator fatigue. Here are the first impressions from some of the farmers immediately after they stepped out of the cab from the demonstrations.


About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

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