Doom-mongers are telling us that the death of traditional farming is just around the corner, that lab-grown protein and artificial milk are the future.Certainly, such disruptive technologies pose challenges. To meet them, farmers need to improve processes and the agricultural machinery they use, and strive for efficiencies both inside the farm gate and beyond.
Good thing that’s what Kiwi farmers do best. Whichever way the market winds are blowing, it’s always the right time to be looking at improvements in processes and equipment that will lift profitability and payout. One such piece of kit is a loader wagon. Unlike a forage harvester, these are specifically designed to ensure your stock get the most out of your precious silage. And as well as producing higher-quality feed, loader wagons are more cost effective to operate, with annual running costs around 10% of those of a forage harvester.
In this blog, we tell you all you need to know about loader wagons and how they can make you more efficient, increasing profitability.
For cows to ruminate to their best potential, they need to be fed forage of the perfect length. Cows will produce better on grass cut to lengths of 30-40mm rather than 10-15mm because the longer cut keeps the grass in the rumen for longer. Loader wagons achieve that desirable 30-40mm cut, whereas forage harvesters cut to 10-15mm.
The shorter cut of a forage harvester means a lot of silage is wasted when feeding out. This is because the shortcut grass gets overlooked by feeding cows and ends up left behind in the paddock. The pasture is always greener on the other side, aka where the long grass lives!
Set-up costs for a new tractor and loader wagon are under $350,000, compared with at least $600,000 for a forage harvester alone. Annual running costs are also less – around 10% of those of a forage harvester – and harvesting costs are much lower when carting the cut grass under 5km.
Another advantage is that loader wagon drivers do not need the same high skill set as a forage harvester driver.
Bergmann loader wagons
High-capacity Bergmann loader wagons, designed and built in Germany, can take your grass harvesting to the next level with their consistent chop length, wide pickup and intake channel, and huge loading capacity. Sizes range from 28 to 51 cubic metres.
Bergmann is a third-generation, family-run engineering business in Germany with more than 100 years of experience in the production of agricultural machinery and vehicles.
There is no doubt that traditional pasture-based farming is facing challenges and disruption from emerging lab-based technologies. Kiwi farmers are known for their resilience though, and for working through challenges to a better future. Ensuring your farm uses the best in machinery and processes will not only equip you to face those challenges, it will help the whole New Zealand agriculture industry in its quest for efficiency and a sustainable future.