The first self-propelled Kverneland Siloking diet feeder to go on a UK farm has been put to work by Stephen Potter at Whistley Farm, West Harptree, Somerset.

Supplied by dealer Uphill and Son, the Prestige-spec 1612 model replaces a 20-year-old self-propelled feeder. It will be used to provide the farm’s 100-head of pedigree blonde cattle, the Whistley Herd, with a high-quality ration.

“We feed our blondes every day with specific rations, and the use of a self-propelled feeder has many advantages for us,” says Mr Potter. “The milling head lets us keep a tight face at the clamp to avoid secondary fermentation. It also has incredible manoeuvrability, which makes it very easy to negotiate our traditional farmyard and its buildings.”

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Compared to using a trailed feeder, a self-propelled machine saves on the cost of buying an additional tractor, telehandler and a silage cutter, he adds.

“A self-propelled feeder might appear to be a high initial cost, but if it is kept for 20 years, its cost becomes very easy to justify with smaller herds,” he says. “It’s not significantly more expensive than a trailed set-up, because a trailed feeder needs additional machinery in support. And, our set-up is based around a one-man feeding system, which is easily achieved using a self-propelled feeder.”