Lagan Bros, based in Moneymore in Derry, have purchased the first new top-of-the-range John Deere 9900i SPFH sold in Europe. Lagan Bros is run by three brothers – Paul, Michael and Seamus – who attended the recent Golden Key handover at the Zweibrücken factory in Germany.

Last autumn, John Deere announced four new self-propelled forage harvester models from 625hp to 970hp. Lagan Bros’ new 9900i forager is the largest of the new series.

Previously running a 2017 8800i, the brothers updated their forager as the latest series sees a significant boost in power. The 9900i is powered by a 24.2l V12 Liebherr engine with a power output of 970hp.

These new foragers have a new styling design with a large crop channel of 850mm. They also feature a reinforced drivetrain and an improved mainframe.

Sixty-four knives

Solely being used to harvest grass for the Lagans, the new forager has 64 knives. Michael Lagan explained that they needed the large number of knives in order to consistently chop the grass to a length of 4mm for local AD plants.

This is the brothers’ third harvester to have John Deere’s Harvest Lab NIR sensor. This sensor is used to document real-time measurements of crop yield, moisture and other crop constituents such as protein, starch, fibre, etc. Lagans will be taking delivery of the 9900i towards the end of next week and hope to be out working the machine sometime in the first week of May.