Dairy farming ten minutes north of Te Awamutu, Tony and Lucas Allcock run 280 Fresian cows through a composting barn system. After four seasons running the BvL Mixer Wagon with their barn system, production is now up 60% without any increase in feed costs. “Our farm is 95 hectares, and we are focusing on increasing production rather than ramping up stocking numbers,” said Lucas. “Obviously we want to increase production, but we are aware of environmental factors, so we are trying to build the perfect combination of high performing cows without it being at the expense of the environment.”
The Allcocks decided that they needed to do something to look after their cows better, especially during wet weather. “We had nowhere to stand the cows other than races, or the cowshed,” said Tony. “We decided to build a barn for housing and feeding cattle which can house all our stock as required.”
Before feeding in the barn, they were using in shed feeding. “We fed them 3kg/day and production was around 380MS. It put a shine on their coat, made them milk a little better but all we were doing was paying for our production,” said Tony.
“We then decided that since we have got this barn, we need to get into feeding the cows properly,” commented Lucas, “feed them more maize as a bulk feed as well as growing cows bigger and production at the same time.”
In 2014, they added a BvL Mixer Wagon to their operation. “This made life a whole lot easier,” said Tony, “It mixed really well, it’s solidly built and meant we could push on with growing more maize, mixing it, and feeding a balanced diet to the cows.”
The first season with the BvL Mixer Wagon saw a lift in production of 28%. “We went from 99,000MS to 128,000 without spending any more on feed compared to in shed feeding.” commented Lucas, “After four season we are at 160,000MS and still no more being spent on feed.”
“We haven’t bought any more cows, we’ve kept the same land, and the bulk of our feed is grown on farm with 30Ha shut up for maize each year,” commented Lucas.
The Allcocks have found the cows are a lot more even across the herd. “We don’t have fat cows, skinny cows, they are all looking very similar because they are getting their fair share of feed that they are supposed to get,” said Lucas.
“Cows are bigger now when we come to hook them they are 20-30kg heavier in work weight. They have got better health, we spend very little on health issues.” said Tony, “Calving is much more condensed, the cows are cycling better, holding the calf better and we have fewer empties.”
The Scheres family has been farming in the Putaruru area for over 30 years. With five dairy farms and producing 1,400,000kg of milk solids per year, they know a thing or two about getting feed into their cows and maintaining a healthy herd. Now on their second round of BvL Mixer Wagons, and after operating more than 10, they can’t see themselves using any other machine.
The third generation of the family, farmer Paul Scheres runs 520 Friesian cows on Grangeland Farms and has run BvL Mixer Wagons since 2013. “We purchased BvL because of their build quality, and they were the perfect fit for our tight and narrow feedpads,” he said.
The Scheres started with small 14m3 NDE mixer wagons which were slow to mix, took heaps of horsepower and weren’t big enough to keep up with their farms. “We now run 20 and 24m3 BvL wagons, with a 24m3 on our farm here,” said Paul. “The BvL’s make a far more consistent mix compared to our previous machines; there are no dead spots around the doors that don’t get mixed.”
“We feed a lot of high end foods and minerals, and don’t drench,” said Paul, “since running mixer wagons we have never had eczema in the herd.”
“As we are winter milking, we need to keep a lot of high end feeds, golden flake, soya bean meal plus minerals go into the rations,” he said, “Every cow gets the same portion with the even mix, even food and even diet.”
Pauls ration at the start of July was to get 17kg dry matter into the cows each feed. “We were mating, so feeding 17 kilos on the pad. This is made up of 6kg maize, 2kg of apple, 3kg of bread, 2kg soya bean, minerals, lime flour and Bolster. We add in two bales of Lucerne and two bales of silage for fibre,” he said, “We feed this twice a day, and upgrading to the 24m3 BvL made the process a whole lot quicker as we would always be doing three loads, and sometimes four to get the same amount of feed into the cows.”
“Some people had told us previously that mixer wagons are a bit hit and miss with results,” commented Paul, “We have had excellent results across our farms, and think the BvL does an outstanding job. We wouldn’t be spending all that money on foods to put in the wagon to feed out if we didn’t think they worked.”
The Mid-Canterbury contractors bought the new Bergmann manure spreader last year, and it arrived just in time to begin work in the early spring, Quigley Contracting operations manager Rob Raisbeck says.
“It’s been on the shopping list for several years, and we finally took the plunge last winter. It arrived in the early spring so we have pretty much had a whole season out of it so far and we have been very pleased with it.”
Rob says while there are a few contractors doing effluent spreading, no-one else appeared to be specialising in lower rate or precision application work in the Mid Canterbury area. It means the demand for Quigley Contracting’s new spreading service is growing, especially the demand for low rate-applications of compost on pasture.
“People are seeing the benefits of adding it to their system and getting the nutrient benefits. “Typically we spread anywhere from 20 ha to 150 ha at a time. Every week to every couple of weeks we are out with the machine, so it has been excellent.”
The Bergmann weighs in at 16 tonnes, and the machine has a twin axle which allows it to comfortably carry 18 tonnes of muck, Rob says.
“We also invested in a pretty large bucket for our loader to load the spreader as quickly as possible. That was always the downside. You could spread quickly, but it took a while to load it,” he says.
Quigley Contracting shopped around before settling on the Bergmann. “The main reason we went with that spreader was the accuracy. The limitation has been the ability to spread accurately, so that has been a major change. “We looked at several different products, particularly in Germany and the Bergmann seemed to be the best-built machine with the technology on board that we needed. “It wasn’t a matter of price. If we were going to upgrade, it was about finding the one that best suited our needs.”
“We can spread accurately down to as low as two-ton per hectare, and the spread pattern is so consistent that it can be offset against the required nutrient budget,” said Rob. “Controlling it with ISOBUS and along with its variable spread, we can give accurate proof of placement to all clients, which means they can reduce their reliance on other artificial fertilisers.”
Rob says Quigley Contracting has enjoyed working with the New Zealand supplier Webbline. “We have had good support. They have certainly helped out with any questions, and they have been happy to ask the manufacturer if they didn’t know the answer.”
Equipment Manager Ron Voschezang has been working at GAVINS for over 40 years and knows a thing or two about agricultural machinery. Ron started as an operator, before moving to parts management, workshop management and now is the Equipment Manager.
“We pride ourselves on having a high quality, well-maintained fleet of machinery,” said Ron, “this results in better reliability to meet our customers’ requirements and has a flow-on effect into the trade values and used machinery sales when it’s time for machinery to move on from GAVINS.”
GAVINS like to consider all aspects when it comes to new machinery purchases. This includes input from operators, key customers and management. “Operator and customer feedback is really important in helping us make the right decision, for operators the ease of operation and machinery maintenance is important and obviously our customers have a range of requirements which we like to be able to satisfy,” Ron says.
GAVINS first combo baler was a Claas baler towing a McHale wrapper behind it. “As a concept, this worked okay, but it was very reliant on having a top operator and also was unsuitable on some ground contours,” said Ron.
They then moved into the baler-wrapper combination market and went with the Goweil wrapper with a McHale baler fitted. “This experience proved to us that Goweil gear was very reliable, once the first baler we put in the Goweil wrapper frame was worn out we replaced it with another baler and the Goweil wrapper continued to work well,” mentioned Ron.
“When Goweil brought out their own baler-wrapper combination, our theory was that the same quality of engineering that they put into their wrappers would have a flow-on effect into their baler and we thought it would potentially be an excellent machine,” remarked Ron, “These balers have proved to be precisely that. We now have three Goweil baler-wrappers, and this past season, we put around 30,000 bales through these three machines.”
“We had to have a machine that suited our needs, was going to be reliable and was going to be backed up by a company who put their money where their mouth is,” said Ron, “Webbline were keen to get the machines into the market place, and we have found them excellent to deal with.”
Prior to GAVINS purchasing the Goweil combination, they did a side by side comparison with two other baler-wrapper combinations in the same paddock on the same day. “We baled the paddock with the three balers and weighed and dry-matter tested the bales from each baler,” Ron commented, “we found that the Goweil packed more product into each bale and the bale shape was the most consistent.”
GAVINS Operations Manager Andrew Geddes said the consistent shape of the bale from the Goweil is loved by our customers. “The bales stack and travel well on our trucks, which makes shifting bales much easier than it used to be. The high density of the bales means we typically get 33 bales per unit load which puts us at our maximum legal road transport weight,” he said.
“We have found Webbline a good company to deal with. They are very conscientious and trustworthy, which is what we like in the people we deal with. They have a good backup from the factory, and the Webbline service techs have good knowledge of the product.”
Phil Hawke knew his Goweil combination baler was making great bales when farmers starting specifically booking that baler. So he got two more.
“I was going through my customer list, and the old baler couldn’t go there, couldn’t go there. Farmers are no mugs. They find out how big the bales are and how they feed out,” Phil says.
Phil and Anne Hawke own and run Phil Hawke Contracting in Hinuera, near Matamata. Phil does the day-to-day management and driving, and Anne runs the office. Their son Ollie drives for them.
Phil bought his first Goweil G-1 combination baler in 2015. He says he first demoed the G-1 because a goat farmer wanted 700 film-on-film bales.
“There are a lot of good balers out there, but we’d had trouble with film-on-film.”
“The Goweil G-1 can do either film or net, and it did the film-on-film every time without problems.”
He says the bales weigh the same whether they are secured with net or film, but those with film-on-film are tighter.
“You notice it loading the truck. The net ones overhang a little, but the film bales are within the truck.”
Phil also does winter grazing and he could tell the difference when feeding out.
“We noticed the Goweil bales were so much easier to feed out. The Goweil makes them in the opposite direction to other balers.
“Other balers take the crop in under the pickup and then turns it counter-clockwise in the chamber to make the bale. The G-1 turns the grass clockwise in the chamber, and it seems to make them tighter in the middle.”
“Even though they are tighter, they do not have a hard centre that jumps out of the feeder.”
Another feature Phil likes is the bank of 23 knives, which cuts down from the top, not up from the bottom. He says this makes them cleaner and easier to take in and out. The knives also spring up out of the way if a rock or something else nasty comes through. “We haven’t broken any yet.”
He has had the occasional blockage, but it is easy to sort. The feed roller comes out of the way and it is quickly cleared without leaving the cab.
When Phil got his first Goweil G-1 it was a wet spring. He says the bales weighed about a tonne, and were 200kg heavier than his other bales. In a dry spring they average about 920kg.
The G-1 has a fixed chamber. “We find it easier because you know what you’ve got every time.”
The G-1 baler can work in automatic mode, although every step can also be done manually.
Most seasons Phil makes 35,000 bales, mostly grass silage and a bit of hay. This last season was challenging, with a wet spring, a dry summer and then a great autumn.
The contracting business now runs three Goweil balers and they were all on the job in autumn. His biggest day with one baler was 747 bales and that was over four jobs spread 40km apart. His highest hourly output was 68 bales.
Phil says G-1 balers are very robust and a heavy machine at about 10 tonnes. “There is a lot of steel in there and they are well made.”
He pulls it – even on hills – with 180hp. Another feature he really likes, is that the bale will transfer to the wrapping table and wrap at any angle, “up, down or sideways”.
“Service from Webbline has been excellent. They are head and shoulders above everyone else. They are always calling in when they go past.”
A back bearing broke and when Phil drove the baler to Webbline, they met him half way with another baler. They took his and repaired it whilst he finished work with theirs.
Phil has been trialing the balers for the Austrian manufacturer and he is impressed with their commitment to get feedback to build the perfect baler for New Zealand conditions.
“They are thinking about the baler all the time, and trying to improve it. We are trialing a new pick up.”
Phil is expecting the Goweil to easily last 50,000 to 60,000 bales. The oldest baler is on 30,000 bales… “and still going like a rocket”.
Bay of Plenty contractor Japie Jordaan purchased a new Bergmann Shuttle 390 loader wagon in September 2017 for his Te Puke business, Jordaan Contracting Limited. He selected the Shuttle 390 wagon because of its huge working width and capacity.Japie says it is his first Bergmann loader wagon. It has a wider footprint than his previous loader wagons and offers greater stability on the hills.
“I like the hydraulic pickup on the 390. The onboard scales are really good at showing the farmers how much silage is in the stack,” he says.
“From my point of view, I can on-sell grass silage to a farmer without having to run it over a weighbridge which is a big time and cost saving.”
Japie says the Bergmann Shuttle loader wagon is a strong, well-built machine, which he also uses for carting maize silage.
“It’s easy to operate and compaction is excellent. It gives me a decent sized payload.”
“The chop length is very consistent, which gives better compaction at the stack and the farmers find it easier to handle when unloading. The knife bank is very accessible and it’s easy to take the knives in and out to sharpen them,” Japie says.
The Shuttle loader wagon’s 2.2 m pickup, wide huge 2.05 m intake channel, and unique folding front wall combine to give fast loading capacity, and large payload.
Japie says this gives his team the ability to shift a higher tonnage per hour than previous loader wagons.
“The wide pickup is the big thing, as you can pick up big rows. The bigger loader wagon means my bulk silage operation is much more efficient from the farmer’s side and we don’t spend as much time in the paddock, so it is better for everyone.”
Bergmann loader wagons are available in sizes from 36 m3 up to 51 m3, and from 24 tonnes up to 34 tonnes total machine loading. They come in tandem and tri-axle options.
The widest pickup with on the market is 2070 mm, while widest rotor is 2050 mm with 53 cutting knives.
Bergmann wagons come standard with an isolating pickup and up to 200 mm of sideways travel. This means they follow ground contours better to give a cleaner crop and less stress on the machine.
Based in Te Horo, South Manawatu, Tom Richmond has operated his family-owned contracting business for the past 25 years. He also works the 470-ha family farm that raises deer, beef, and sheep and does dairy grazing.
Since 2003 Tom has owned six Goweil wrappers and balers.
“Initially I thought Goweil wrappers were far too expensive but eventually saw the sense. We went with our first single-satellite Goweil wrapper and have never looked back from there,” he says.
“Our square baling business grew and then we started with round bales. This meant we need a wrapper that could handle different shaped bales with ease. We traded up through the Goweil single-satellite range, and as bales got heavier, we moved to the twin-satellite.”
“Then we moved into a combi setup with a variable chamber baler and Goweil G5040 wrapper. This made things a lot more flexible as two labour units could do square bales and only one needed to do round bales.”
Tom had a good relationship with Goweil importers Webbline, and they organised a demonstration of the Goweil’s new G1 baler-wrapper. He bought a G1 combi unit and says he has not looked back since.
“It has a nice wide pickup, solid construction, and the proven Goweil wrapping unit. I had always been sceptical of a soft centre baler, but I was surprised at the centre of the bales that come out of the Goweil G1 Baler.
“They are very tight and well-formed but with the soft centre, they feed out just as well as a belt baler.”
“We use net replacement film ,which works very well and gives everyone an extra layer of protection. When I go to feed it out, there is no net tangled amongst the grass.”
Tom says the Goweil G1 is a heavy machine and very well-built. The initial setup of the baler was good, especially since he was familiar with the monitors on Goweil products.
Manawatu contractor Ryan Badger produces 7000-8000 round bales a year and he also does square balage and contract wrapping along with cultivation and a range of other services.
Ryan says he and his father have engineering backgrounds so when they bought their first round baler, they also bought an old wrapper.
“It was the wrapper off an old burnt-out combi unit that we modified into a trailed unit. As the business grew and the bale numbers increased, this machine became unreliable and couldn’t keep up. We started to look around at other wrappers and thanks in part to the finance package Webbline offered, we made the decision to purchase a Goweil.”
They run the Goweil G5020 runs as an inline unit because they find it harder and harder to get staff. An inline machine means one less tractor and one less driver.
“Webbline had a drawbar kit for the G5020 that works with our baler and have never looked back. It isn’t too hard to operate. We can get it into most tight gateways,” Ryan says.
“When we get on very steep going, we can disconnect the wrapper and run them on separate tractors.”
“We are very happy with the way the Goweil runs. We know we can put two rolls of plastic on the machine and never have to get out for any plastic issues. It gives us trouble-free operation.”
“Coming from an engineering background, we can see the Goweil G5020 is robustly built. We cannot see anywhere that would cause issues, cracks or problems down the line.”
“This good experience with Webbline and Goweil is one of the main reasons we got into a G5040 and traded our Tornado. We knew the G5040 would be the right choice for us due its robust construction and build quality.”
Ryan says the Webbline sales team is easy to deal with and they provide amazing backup.
Phil Hawke Contracting, of Hinuera New Zealand now run three Goweil G1 F125 Baler Wrapper Combinations. Between these machines, they do over 40,000 balers per year.
Check out some of the reasons they purchased these heavy duty machines with massive throughput.
In 2012, Methven mixed cropping farmers Bruce & Susan Turpie, joined the many Canterbury farmers who have made the transition to dairy farming. After mixed cropping most of his life, Bruce could see that milking cows on his property was the next logical step.
Bruce liked the idea of a barn to house the cows over the winter months, which enabled him to secure a winter milk contract which he said justifies running this type of higher input dairy operation.
“We milk 1200 cows here, with 500 of them being milked through the winter. We autumn calve 400, with about 100 carryovers. This is something we have done right from the start and its worked very well for us.” Bruce commented.
“Running a barn system requires having a good control of your input costs. We are currently feeding a mix of beet, palm kernel, lucerne balage and maize silage. Last August, we took delivery of a BvL 34 Mixer from Webbline Agriculture, it has been one of the best moves I’ve made,” he said. “We did the first three years with a 27 cubic metre Jaylor which wasn’t really big enough for what we were trying to do. When Webbline approached me with a new model triple auger mixer, I could see this was our machine!”
Bruce’s feeding operator Sharon Inch says that, “we are currently doing three loads a day and can get up to 16 tonne mix into the machine at a time. I have found the BvL is very easy to drive, we are running it on the old 180HP International 8910 which has been in the family since new and is close to clocking 10 000 hours. In fact, due to the unique auger set up, this mixer is as easy to drive as our previous smaller mixer. I also have found the steering axle configuration makes it very easy to tow and it follows the tractor around corners very well,” Sharon commented.
Mike Murray from Murray Harvest has owned his Goweil G1 for one season now and is getting very positive feedback from his customers on the bale quality.
Mike and his uncles, Ian & Bruce, have been in bulk silage for many years. Last season, Mike decided to upgrade his baler, with specific criteria in mind:
- It had to be able to apply barrel wrap and net
- It had to be able to feed the film onto the bale without film ending up through the forage
- It had to have a good rotor cutting system
- It had to produce well-made, well-shaped bales.
One season on with his customers well into feeding out the silage, Mike is enjoying fantastic feedback on the bale quality.Matt Olsen had Murray Harvest make around 300 bales for him this season and is amazed with the quality of the bales “they feed out a lot further than any other fixed chamber bales, the bales are feeding out more like a variable chamber baler than the traditional fixed chamber baler.
The bales are feeding out consistently for over 100 metres without big lumps of silage falling off the bale feeder” he said. “With other fixed chamber balers I have used, the bales feed out nicely for the first half off the bale and then the silage just come off the feeder in lumps- but not with the Goweil, this is very important for the stock as they don’t waste the silage and they are all getting a similar amount for silage to eat” commented Matt.
Stu McArdie has operated balers for over 10 years and made over 90,000 bales in that time and has now gone back farming so he knows a thing or two about balers and making good bales.
“Murray Harvest have made 400 bales for me this season all with barrel wrap, I am impressed with the quality of silage it produces, I have found the barrel wrap very easy to use when feeding out and when putting the silage on the feeder the film doesn’t get stuck in the silage like net would, due to the extra layers of film around the barrel of the bale. I cut the plastic wrap off the bale at the stack site and then cart one on the feeder and one on the forks of my front end loader around the farm and find that the film holds the bale together and does not unwind due to the short tails” said Stu.
One of the advantages for Mike when he purchased the baler was that he didn’t need to feed grass into the bale to get the net to apply. He’d previously received a lot of comments from farmers who were put off the barrel wrap technology because of film part way into the bale creating many issues at feed out time with wrap in the silage. “I am pleased to have found that with Goweil G1 bales, I’ve had no issues with this from any farmers,” said Mike.
The Shot Over Rotor that has 8 stars with a very positive cutting system has always had positive feedback from his customers with one commenting that “it’s fine chop silage in a bale” Being able to cut the net and wrap off the bale and it just falls apart in the feedout wagon like it’s fine chop, is a big plus for Mikes customers wanting to feed bales out on a feed pad or in a herd home.
The patented Goweil Triple Roller Pretensioner has been a big saver for Mike this season. This pretensioner stretches the plastic more consistently than all other standard pretensioners, and resulting in Mike getting an extra 4 bales wrapped per roll of wrap. This has meant that the extra cost of the barrel wrap has been absorbed by the savings from the Goweil pretensioner. Consequently, it’s costing him no more to apply barrel wrap than it was to just use net and wrap on his previous baler/wrapper.Mike is now looking forward to growing the baling side of the business and promoting the benefits of quality bales the Goweil baler can produce for his happy customers.
Jedburgh Station inland from Wyndham, Southland, owned by Tim Story and managed by Murray Kennedy covers 3,400 hectares, running 18,500 stock units on 1,800 effective hectares. They crop about 100 hectares of winter crop & shut up around 150 ha every year for silage, they generally top the rest of the farm, which equates to around 1,850 Ha of topping every year.
In December 2011, Jedburgh took possession of a set of SIP double front & rear mowers from Webbline. “It was a logical choice”, this was a passing comment from Jedburgh Station’s manager Murray Kennedy when asked why he purchased the first set of SIP Double mowers ever sold in New Zealand.
In December 2015, 4 years later, Jedbrough took delivery of their second set of SIP double mowers. “The first set were great mowers, and the new Mowers are a step up again. Better crop flow, new improved cover design, all round with over 9,000 ha under our belt we have had an excellent run with the SIP product. I have also found the guys at Webbline good to deal with. Service is brilliant, its great being able to call into the yard at 7am, staff are working and we can get the parts off the shelf.”
When Westport Dairy Farmer and Contractor, John Milne was considering upgrading his baler to a Kombi unit he was looking at most options. John has a baling run that services the Westport and Northern Buller area on the West Coast. As John already owned a two year old McHale 5500 baler, he could not see the sense in trading it in on a full factory Kombi. So instead, he got it set up in a Goweil G5040 Kombi.
“I have done 9,000 bales with my McHale in the Goweil this season and am very pleased with its performance.” John commented. “The Goweil 5040 Kombi system is logical, in the fact that as your baler needs replacement, you don’t have the massive depreciation like you do on a full Kombi system- we can just upgrade the baler and have it fitted to this Goweil.”
“In my mind the Goweil ticks all the boxes”. John said.
“The Goweil works so well here on the West Coast, mainly because of the tandem axle and the fail safe bale transfer that allows me to work on even the steepest country with ease. Even the maneuverability compared to when I ran the baler on its own is similar and I can take this Kombi as far as I took the Baler on its own with no problem. Also, the four-wheel braking is an added bonus when going downhill.”
Another feature John likes about the Goweil is the plastic pretensioners, “They’re gentle on the film, give me better plastic yield compared to my old wrapper and achieves a very tidy wrapping job.” He commented.
“In spite of effectively running a different brand of baler with the Goweil, the monitor makes operating this unit a breeze, the Goweil system talks to the McHale monitor and the whole process is very seamless and from a drivers perspective, I am driving one unit, not two separate machines.”
“I would recommend this system to anyone looking to upgrade their Combination Baler Wrapper, especially with Webbline’s excellent knowledge and back-up support.”
Rohan, along with his sister Gretchen , parents Mike and Sue McGuire, milk 600 cows on a 250 Ha property beside the coast 25 minutes drive from Ashburton. In his quest to find a quicker and easier way to feed out his bales, Rohan looked at his options on slicers. Rohan looked at a couple of other brands of Bale slicers but after a demo with the Goweil, was convinced that it is the best tool for the job.
“The Goweil is definitely not the cheapest one out there, however I find it very user friendly and configured well to fit on my size tractor.” Rohan commented.
“I am feeding around 1300 bales of Silage and 400 of Ryegrass straw a year and already seeing the benefits of time saved and ease of use with the Goweil.”
“When loading my Robertson Feedout wagon, I am loading 6 bales in less than 15 minutes, all from the tractor seat. This has resulted in me saving around 45 minutes every day I am feeding out ,” he said. “ The big advantage of the Goweil when compared to other slicers out there is that the plastic and net holder will grab any bale , no matter out badly out of shape it is. The unique design of the hook system that the Goweil has means there are always at least two hooks that will grab the plastic and net, which is all it needs to do the job.”
“With the bale weights averaging 620 kg , our 105 hp John Deere 6330 handles the slicer no problem.” Rohan commented.
Webbline sales manager , Glen Malcolm says, “We are seeing many dairy farmers seeing the benefits of the Goweil slicer and how easy it is to use, many of our clients comment on the safety aspect, compared to getting in and out of the tractor to remove the plastic and net, which is very important”.
“Plus the added bonus of having a clean tractor cab at the end of the job!”
“I have reduced my wastage because the silage is far less contaminated”
Pete Nelis, a dairy farmer just south of Tirau in Waikato purchased an SIP Silvercut 380 disc mower last October from Webbline on the recommendation of his contractor who said, “buy the Webbline ones, they are robust and contour well.”
Pete runs his mower on a 6125M John Deere tractor and has no problem running it around on his steep terrain. “I just wanted a resilient mower that contoured well and it needed to be big so I spend less time in the paddock,” Pete commented. With a cutting width of 3.67 meters, Pete can cover up to 4ha/hr and he is very impressed with how well the mower follows the ground. “This mower follows the ground contour superbly well,” he commented, “I can change the weight on the bar between different paddocks quickly thanks to the SIP flotation design. This has eliminated the scalping problem which I had with my earlier mower and leaves a far superior finish.” With good ground contouring, there is less scalping, resulting in less dirt getting wrapped up with the silage.
“I have reduced my wastage because the silage is far less contaminated and the cows are doing better out of the feed.” Pete said. He also likes how easy the mower is to hook on and off his tractor due to the easy pressure release system.
Waikato Dairy Farmers, Andy and Sarah Story milks 1,100 cows on two farms near Te Awamutu in the Waikato. In June last year, they made the transfer from a standard Silage Feedout wagon to a BvL V-Mix 20 Mixer Wagon.Over the years Andy has put a lot of systems in place to improve their operation; including 5 years ago, a feed pad, to allow him to feed a larger variety of feeds. At production of 380 MS per cow, Andy saw he needed to go to the next level with his cows. Last June he invested in a BvL VMix Mixer wagon. The results have been amazing in many areas, including milk production.
“We are feeding every day of the year,” Andy commented, “during the dry spell this last summer we were feeding up to 8 loads a day. We have noticed since purchasing the BvL that the cows just stand there and eat, whereas they used to fight and push each other around trying to get all the best bits of feed… Feeding is a lot more even now and they clean every thing up,” He said. “Now we have the mixer, we are mixing all our minerals in the feed and blood tests across the herd are very consistent… meaning every cow is getting the correct amount.”
Andy is also impressed by how robust and easy to operate the mixer is, “The other week one of the boys dropped the silage grab off the loader into the bin; this simply set off the shear-bolt on the auger and did no damage. In fact, the impact took a piece out of the silage grab and hardly put a mark on the mixer… this shows the quality of the steel,” Andy commented.
The Storys run their mixer on Tandems as they are feeding on two properties 800 metres apart, and have commented that the BvL tows very well and is stable and very manoeuvrable. “We have found the BvL to be a very reliable machine… it goes every day, we run it with a John Deere 6920, which is an ideal size tractor for this size mixer, especially for the fact that we tow it between farms. The Auger and Bin design in excellent, most recently we have been feeding some bales to young stock and the mix included 3 bales of balage, Palm Kernal and Maize Silage; we are able to put in 3 bales one after the other with no issue and the BvL will process in no time.”
With so much attention being drawn to dairy effluent getting into waterways at the moment, many farmers don’t give much thought to the old manure spreader that just “throws the Sh** out the back“, with no real precision.
When West Otago contractor, Lindsay Harliwich looked at upgrading his manure spreader, The Bergmann TSW 3140 stood out from the rest. What caught Lindsay’s attention was the beater & spreader unit, which in his mind is the “heart of the machine”. While most manure spreaders have vertical beaters for removing the product, the Bergmann has 2 horizontal milling units which shred the product onto aggressive disks, similar to that on a standard fertilizer spreader.
The result? A very even spread of product across the paddock. Glen Malcolm, Webbline sales manager says that this type of spreader is the way of the future as farmers are demanding a more consistent even application of the manure, once considered a bothersome byproduct, now realized as a valuable part of their fertilizer program.
“The Bergmann TSW 3140 is an extremely versatile machine as it will consistently spread a range of material from Lime , compost, pond sludge and wintering pad & calf shed bedding”. The Bergmann spreaders have an optional controller which means the floor scraper bars work on a pressure system, which controls the rate of discharge. This also acts as a safety device, where the floor stops moving if the pressure gets too high if a foreign object gets in
the bin, i.e. a large piece of concrete, tyres etc.
The Bergmann TSW 3140 spreader is in keeping with all the Bergmann range with an extremely robust construction & design making this the ideal unit for NZ conditions, including auto tensioning on the floor chains. Kris Donovan, Harliwich’s operator commented that the Hydraulic lift axle was a bonus as when he is operating in slippery conditions, he can take the weight off the front axle of the spreader effectively transferring more weight onto the drawbar increasing traction on the rear wheels of the tractor. The tandem axle design of the Bergmann 3140, gives the unit a very short turning circle, making it extremely maneuverable in spite of its relatively large bin size.
The Bergmann also has a unique one piece tapered bin, this ensures the bin is as close as you can get to being waterproof, minimizing the amount of leakage when transporting very liquid manure. The Tapered bin also means that once you start to unload, the pressure comes off the sides allowing for a for a smoother unloading pattern, at the same time reducing drag which is a saving on horsepower requirement.
Bergmann is one of the largest manure spreader manufactures in Germany, and it’s not hard to see why, with the robust design making this a low maintenance, high performance, accurate spreader, minimizing environmental issues by giving a consistent even spread. With the Bergmann spreader having been working in the West Otago area for almost 2 years now, there has been many comments from Lindsay’s clients commenting on the consistent even spread pattern, in all types of product which in turn is resulting in a faster paddock recovery after application.
A BvL Shear grab is making a massive difference for these dairy farmers in the Waikato. Brad & Rex Payne have a dairy farm in Monavale, just west of Cambridge, on a 200ha block milking 500 cows. They have fed 350 tonnes of grass silage and 850 tonnes of maize silage in the past year.
Before purchasing a shear grab, Brad was concerned how hard it was on the tractor, manoeuvring silage out with his silage fork and was finding it time-consuming trying to push the feed down with the bucket or silage grab to maintain a compressed stack face.
The first impression when Brad saw a shear grab was, “This tool will minimize my wastage and speed up the feeding process. We are loading the silage with a Massey Ferguson 5465,” Payne says; “I now just simply drive into the stack and work the third service on my tractor, and the shear grab cuts a full bite of silage.”
After taking ownership of the shear grab, Brad commented that “It’s made a massive difference. Instead of smelling secondary fermentation at the stack face there is now a nice sweet smell from the silage and I have found the silage is more palatable for the cows resulting in less grass silage left in the concrete troughs.”
Before I had the shear grab, I used to remove around three tonnes of wasted grass silage every two weeks out of the troughs; this was the spoiled silage that the cows wouldn’t eat, now I only have to clean out the trough every 12 weeks as the cows are cleaning almost all of it up!”
As a result of purchasing a BvL shear grab, Payne says he “wouldn’t farm without one.”