Climate Action

New Holland’s new FR range: the benchmark in chop quality and productivity

The launch of the new FR range of forage harvesters sees New Holland accomplish the complete renewal of its line-up of professional harvesting products.

  • 20 September 2012
  • William Brittlebank

The launch of the new FR range of forage harvesters sees New Holland accomplish the complete renewal of its line-up of professional harvesting products. The five model FR range delivers between 450-824hp and offers industry-leading chop quality and consistency, which, when combined with the range’s unsurpassed throughput, provides the most efficient and productive package on the market. Innovative new features such as productivity enhancing ECOBlue™SCR technology, the ultra-wide IntelliView™IV colour touchscreen monitor, and a new high performance grass pick-up header have been combined with renowned FR features including the VariFlow™and HydroLoc™systems in a strikingly distinctive New Holland styling package, to offer professional contractors and large cooperatives unsurpassed quality and throughput.

“The latest generation of FRs represents the pinnacle of forage harvesting technology, and is the culmination of over 50 years of pioneering forager firsts.” Stated Hedley Cooper, Head of Harvester Product Management. “In 1961, New Holland revolutionised the world of forage harvesting with the Model SP818. Today, over half a century later, yellow blooded engineers are hard at work at our Harvesting Centre of Excellence, in Zedelgem, and the home of the FR, to provide today’s high output contractors and cooperatives with the productivity, efficiency and reliability they require.”


ECOBlue™SCR technology for enhanced productivity and reduced fuel consumption

New Holland is committed to enhancing environmental sustainability whilst improving farmers’ and contractors’ productivity as well as reducing their operating costs. The Cursor 9 and Cursor 13 engines fitted to the FR450 and FR500 respective, boast ECOBlue™SCR technology for Tier 4A compliance. The ECOBlue™SCR system offers significant performance advantages, and the new FR450 and FR500 now develop maximum harvesting power of 450hp and 520hp, which mean operators will have the power on tap to tackle even the most demanding conditions and crops.

Fuel consumption has been optimised courtesy of ECOBlue™SCR technology. The renowned Power Cruise™technology enables further fuel savings in the field, and the ultra-low road mode engine speeds, as low as 1400rpm, enable up to an additional 20% reduction in fuel consumption. 

New Holland’s ECOBlue™ Selective Catalytic Reduction system used to meet Tier 4A emissions standards was developed in partnership with FPT Industrial, and over 240,000 SCR engines have been produced to date for ultimate reliability in all operating conditions. A fundamental element of ECOBlue™ SCR technology is AdBlue, which is injected in the after-treatment system to neutralise the harmful exhaust emissions produced during combustion. It turns them into water and nitrogen, both of which are naturally present in the environment. The range’s AdBlue system has been designed for minimal operator input, and the 150 litre tank only needs to be filled every two diesel refills. It is located next to the pre-existing diesel tank to ensure hassle-free filling. Operators are kept continually informed of AdBlue levels via the IntelliView™ IV display. 


All-new chopper body and powerful blowing performance for efficient crop flow

The FR benefits from an all new chopper body which has significantly enhanced chop quality in terms of uniformity and throughput. Moreover, changing from the grass to the maize setting has been further simplified to reduce downtime during tight foraging windows. The FR features the latest advances in blower design, which have optimised crop transfer from the cutterhead to the processor and trailer, even when working in the lightest grass crops. The paddle type blower has increased the mass of smooth flowing air by a full 40% to transport higher volumes of crop more efficiently and to reduce the risk of crop accumulation in the chopper body area for significantly diminished crop build-up, reducing maintenance demands. Advanced computational fluid dynamic analysis was also conducted to establish the smoothest and best possible path for the crop, and an impressive value of 80% has been achieved for crop flow direction stability. A more stable flow means reduced turbulence and greater unloading efficiency.


Distinctive styling facilitates access and serviceability

The FR range’s distinctively New Holland styling features a slick black spout, reminiscent of the 50th anniversary model. The sculpted steps form a natural arc for easy cab-access, and the operator platform has been widened with sculpted hand rails for safe entry and exit late at night and after long working days. The elegant side panels open wide as a single unit on self-supporting gas struts for easy servicing access.

Daily maintenance has been further simplified courtesy of significant advances in feed roll packaging. The entire area has been sealed thanks to the addition of precision placed plates which form a protective seal around the feed roller to prevent the build-up of debris, which can substantially reduce time consuming daily cleaning. Furthermore, this system has the additional benefit of improving crop flow and reducing costly side ‘fall out’ losses.


New grass pick-up for higher speed ultra-reliable smooth harvesting in all conditions

New Holland knows that the optimum harvesting window for guaranteed nutritious silage is tight; this lead to the development of the high capacity 300FP grass pick-up header. Available in two working widths, the three metre model is perfect for transport intensive operations, whereas the super-wide 3.8 metre version makes light work of even the widest grass swaths. Ultimate throughput is guaranteed courtesy of the roller wind guard. Designed to ensure smooth crop flow from swath to forager, it prevents crop flow disturbances for uniform feeding. The wind guard can be adjusted from the cab to maintain constant, laminar flow in swaths of changing densities. Retractable fingers smoothly and efficiency transfer the crop to the feed rolls, and optional paddles can be specified when working in the densest and most demanding conditions.

Pick-up speed has been significantly increased thanks to the addition of a supplementary tine bar, bringing the total to five, which enables higher ground speeds, perfect when working in unstable climatic conditions or for contractors looking to increase productivity and profitability. When working in muddy or boggy fields, the pick-up support wheel will prevent costly bulldozing and maintain uniform header height. Reinforced tines complete the high level of reliability that this header offers; when working in even the most uneven fields or in stony conditions, tine breakages have been consigned to the history books.

All headers can be quickly and easily attached courtesy of the ‘quick-attach’ logic, and lateral and vertical header height correction are managed from the comfort of the cab to ensure that the header follows the contours of even the most uneven ground without bulldozing or lifting.


Designed to enhance biomass productivity

The FR range has been engineered by design to offer productive biomass harvesting. Cutting edge technology is combined with a complete range of customisable options so that the FR can be specified to match diverse biomass harvesting operations. The high inertia biomass drum features 2x20 knives for a fine cut for more efficient digestion and combustion. The Dual Drive function of the HydroLoc™, variable chop length system, enables ‘straight through’ crop-flow by disengaging the threshing mechanism, perfect for miscanthus biomass harvesting. The 130FB coppice header with integrated saw blades, can slice through coppice stems of up to 15cm and produce uniform woodchips. The protruding ‘trunk’ efficiently feeds stems into the feed rolls for effective harvesting.

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IntelliFill™system: let your FR fill the trailer for you

The multi-award winning IntelliFill™technology enables the operator to accurately fill the trailer with minimal losses, even when visibility is limited. A specialised 3D camera mounted under the spout guides the crop flow into the trailer, ensuring a uniform fill. The spout mounted sensor creates a distance image of the trailer and its surroundings based on near infra-red technology, which means crops can be accurately discharged up to a distance of 20 metres; what is more, the system needs no manual calibration, and recognises different types of trailer automatically, eliminating complex and time consuming set-up procedures. This system provides notable advancements in terms of operator comfort and can lead to significant increases in productivity: operators can concentrate on harvesting without having to continually check over their shoulder to monitor crop discharge. During long days, and even in the dark, the automatic spout guidance will consistently reduce crop spoilage, increasing the forage harvesters’ overall quality of work.


Accurate yield mapping can enhance yields and improve customer service

Today’s modern agricultural contractors find themselves in an ultra-competitive world, where even the slightest difference in quality or service can tilt the balance when lucrative contracts are up for grabs. New Holland knows this, and has placed a powerful tool in the hands of professional forager contractors: fully integrated yield mapping reporting. Yield mapping information can be downloaded from the FR, analysed using New Holland PLM™software so that contactors can provide customers with accurate reports on their field performance, enabling them to tailor inputs to enhance future yields. This is the perfect example of New Holland, contractors and customers forming a virtuous cycle to enhance yields and mutual profitability.


Wide range of headers for ultimate crop-to-crop flexibility and productivity

All models in the FR range are fully compatible with a wide range of headers including the Marangon for New Holland direct cut header which is the default choice for super-intensive dairy farms and biomass operations.  The six metre header offers a super fine cut with 14 ultra-flat round cutting discs for uninterrupted flow that transmits zero stress and strain to the cutting bed, enhancing machine reliability and reducing costly down time during tight cutting windows.  The main frame is composed of one module to which the cutterbar has been fully welded for increased strength and inherent stability. Moreover, when cutting tall, high value whole crop, it can be elevated via hydraulic struts to prevent knocking off valuable seeds.

Furthermore, all New Holland combine maize and grain headers, together with specific Forage Harvester maize headers can be fitted.


Power-saving VariFlow™system improves blower and in-field performance

The two-position Variflow™ system enables operators to alter the location of the blower based on the crop being harvested.  The Blower rotor is precision placed depending on the crop to tailor the blower force required for efficient transfer of material up the spout. The system features one maize and two grass settings: one grass door position for first cut, heavy silage and the second, which virtually eliminates the gap between the blower and the grass door, for light second and third cut silage. In grass-mode, the blower is situated 20cm closer to the cutterhead and offers savings of up to 40hp to enhance overall machine efficiency. The operator can swiftly change between the two settings in less than two minutes without the need for tools to maximise efficiency during tight harvesting windows.


Evolution in forage harvester numbering

New Holland has applied its evolved numbering strategy to the FR range of forage harvesters to make its performance immediately obvious to customers. The numbers, for example ‘600’ refer to the maximum harvesting power rounded to the nearest 50, making its harvesting performance immediately obvious.




Maximum Power (hp [CV])

Engine capacity (litres)

Cutterhead diameter (mm)

Cutterhead width (mm)

Crop processing rolls width (mm)








































New Holland Agriculture's reputation is built on the success of our customers, cash crop producers, livestock farmers, contractors, vineyards, or groundscare professionals. They can count on the widest offering of innovative products and services: a full line of equipment, from tractors to harvesting, material handling equipment, complemented by tailored financial services from a specialist in agriculture.  A highly professional global dealer network and New Holland’s commitment to excellence guarantees the ultimate customer experience for every customer. For more information on New Holland visit


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Sarah Johnson, New Holland Agriculture. Phone: 01268 295268,

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