With foot and mouth forcing the cancellation of this year’s Dairy event, David Cousins rounds up some if the new livestock equipment you would have seen
Bomford Turner straw bedder
Bomford Turner is best known for its hedgecutters and cultivation equipment, but now it’s branched out into the livestock equipment market with a heavy-duty machine that can spread straw up to a distance of 18m (60ft) – and feed out silage.
Called the Sila-Bed, it holds two 1.5 (5ft) diameter round bales or a single big square one.
Loading the bales involves hydraulically lowering a tailgate, then sliding it under the bale, then raising it again. With round bales, the second one can be held securely on the partially-raised tailgate.
Once on board, bales are moved to the front by a hydraulically-driven chain-and-slat system.
This feeds them to a horizontal rotor with 168 serrated knife sections, which chop the material before it is blown out of a chute by a big paddle fan.
This chute can rotate through 300deg, says the company, and a deflector hood can be raised or lower between 72 and 127deg from horizontal. Maximum straw spreading distance is 18m.
All this is controlled electro-hydraulically from a joystick and two buttons inside the cab. The joystick controls chute direction and deflector angle and the two buttons alter bed speed and bed direction.
In silage-feeding mode, the Sila-Bed can dispense either baled or clamp silage. Restrictor tines control the feed to the fan unit and chop length is governed by the speed of the conveyor chain.
The same chute is used, but angled downwards to deliver feed on the right hand side of the machine. The unit costs £13,500 and needs 60hp.
Keenan 160 mixer wagon
Keenan’s latest mixer wagon, the 16cu m £28,750 Kompact 160, has similar dimensions to the company’s K140 mixer but boasts 45% more capacity.
The extra capacity has been achieved mainly by extending the mixing chamber down into the chassis – an arrangement which is also claimed to improve machine stability.
A reduction in the diameter of the feed-out auger has also increased available capacity, with the auger now rotating faster to compensate.
In the mixing department, Keenan’s six angled paddle system remains as before. Its slow rotational speed provides a tumbling action which is said to create accurately mixed rations that retain a high element of fibre
A major change in the drive system now means that only two chains are employed. Also new is the ability to retro-fit a bale chopper unit. This processes big bales – hay, straw or silage – by using the mixing paddles to push sections of bale on to a fixed knife.
Further chopping is performed by blades within the mixing chamber.
Agway bale unroller
A new range of Agway bale unrollers from Devon-based Profitable Farming Company are designed to simplify feeding out bales (straw, hay, silage or haylage) either in the field or in front of a barrier.
They can also be used for reconstituting round bales into conventional bales for the specialist horse hay market.
The top-of-the-range trailed BF5000S uses two rotors, with the top rotor turning at three times the speed of the bottom rotor to fluff-up the hay as the bale is unrolled.
The bale platform is capable of carrying bales of up to 1800kg, and is hydraulically raised during operation to keep the bale tight to the two rotors.
A hydraulic bale spike system lifts the bale on to the unrolling platform and then retracts the prongs. For greater output, a second bale can then be lifted and carried on the prongs, ready for loading once the first bale has been unrolled.
Two linkage mounted versions, the BF5000 3PH and the BF5000SL, use the same hydraulic platform and twin unrolling rotor system.
The SL needs a separate bale handler but the 3PH has a clever quick-detach system that exposes two prongs that can then be used to load the bale on top the platform, so it’s a one-man, one-tractor operation.
Kuhn diet feeder
The latest Euromix vertical-auger diet feeder from Kuhn is the 18cu m twin-auger 1870 model.
Each auger has seven knives and two counter-knives are positioned symmetrically in the body to give effective chopping of fibre (including big bales). A high auger speed (29rpm) gives good mixing and electronic weighing is a standard feature.
The machine is controlled directly from the tractor’s spool valves and costs £29,283
Mower and tanker maker Major equipment has added a wide topper to its range for those with a lot of ground to cover.
The 5.5m (18ft) 18000 Flex wing model is a linkage-mounted machine with hydraulically-folded wings that narrow its width to 2.3m (7ft 6in) for transport. Wing flex can be altered from -15 to +25 degrees to allow the machine to follow the ground contours.
Spreadwise slurry injector
Growing demand for slurry injection has prompted Cheshire slurry handling firm Spreadwise to launch a £14,000 tanker-mounted unit.
It puts slurry into the soil at the ideal 125-180mm depth where it is of most benefit to grass roots, says the company, and a set of press wheels reduces the need for rolling after injection. The maximum application of slurry permitted under NVZ regulations can be applied in a single pass.
Albutt auger bucket
Gloucestershire company Albutt has added new Emily auger and rotor buckets to its range.
The 3cu m rotor bucket cuts grass or maize silage directly from the clamp face and is ideal for using a diet feeder or mixer wagon.
The auger bucket has a paddle mixer system that allows silage, grass, maize and cereals to be mixed in the bucket in 2-4 minutes and then discharged to either side.
Lely Commodus cow cubicle
This new animal-friendly cubicle from Lely has a flexible fixing so cows are not hurt if they bash against it while entering or exiting.
It also softens the impact if a cow hits it when rising from an awkward position. There are no side bars to press on the cow’s back and the front of the unit leaves plenty of space for her head when lying down or standing up.