12 June 1998

Diet feeders swell Amazone portfolio

AMAZONE has added Strautmann complete diet feeders (CDF) to its product portfolio, helping it further on its way to achieving its aim of becoming a full-line distributor of grassland machinery.

Ten months ago the company took over the marketing of Krone equipment in the UK and last month added Elho bale wrappers.

While some might question the latest move, arguing that complete diet feeders are an over-supplied, price-driven sector, Amazone managing director Rod Baker maintains there is still sales growth potential.

"There are some 35,000 dairy holdings in the UK, of which 11,000 have 100-plus cows, yet annual sales of CDF machines are about 3000 units," he says. And with an estimated 10,000 farms running complete diet feeders, he believes there is a potential replacement market of some 200 CDF units a year.

Amazone is offering an auger type design, which it claims is technically superior to the paddle mixer machines that dominate the sector. It says serrated knife sections fitted to the auger flights enable the feeders to shred root crops and whole bales, and produce a better ingredient mix.

Two pto-driven top-loading models are available. The Power-Mix 1000 is a 10cu m (353cu ft) capacity machine aimed at herds of 150-200 head, while the Multi-Mix 900, with 9cu m (318cu ft) capacity, is targeted at herds with more than 100 cows.

The Power-Mix needs 60hp, which is transmitted via a heavy-duty gear box to four horizontal augers, with the upper and lower pair rotating at different speeds.

The bottom augers move ingredients to the front of the chamber, where they are forced upwards and moved rearwards by the upper pair. They are then discharged by a 70cm (2.3ft) wide height-adjustable elevator at the front left of the machine (front right is optional), with output governed by the combination of a hydraulically operated gate and variable-speed conveyor.

Standard features include a electronic weighing unit which has three displays – one at the front of the feeder and one on each side.

The Power-Mix 1000 costs £24,160.

The Multi-Mix 900 has two augers with flights on each half that contra-rotate. That mixes the ingredients by bringing the material into the centre of the chamber to start the cycle, and it is then forced upwards and outwards. Discharge is to the right from a central conveyor, the hydraulically operated gate and speed of which is activated through Bowden cables.

Power requirement is 50hp and specification includes a single electronic weigher which pivots to the side or front of the feeder. Optional equipment includes discharge to the left or both sides, hydraulic control of discharge speed and air brakes. Price of the Multi-Mix 900 is from £20,425.

Amazone also plans to market the Strautmann range of feeder wagons. The 12cu m (424cu ft) FVW 120 model is undergoing trials in the UK and is expected to cost around £12,655.