Latest ideas aim to keep equipment costs in check
Reducing equipment costs was the key to machinery developments at last weeks European Dairy Farming Event. Ian Marshall reports
LIVESTOCK farmers continue to look for greater cost effectiveness and efficiency from their machinery, a point not lost on most manufacturers displaying their wares at the Dairy Event.
Shelbourne Reynolds, for example, used the event to announce an economy version of a 7250-litre capacity slurry spreader. Designated the Powerspread Dairy, it carries a price tag of £9990 and is aimed squarely at the dairy farmer needing a low-cost spreader capable of handling slurry, semi-solid muck and farmyard manure.
The new model replaces the Powerspread 630 and 730 spreaders, on which it is based. Savings, says Shelbourne Reynolds, have come mainly from lower manufacturing costs.
These include the use of a one-piece barrel and solid fixing of the flights on to the central auger. A single shear bolt is used to protect the external auger chain and sprocket drive.
Measuring 5.4m long x 2.5m wide, the machine has a loading height of 2.3m and runs on 21 x 3.24 12-ply tyres. Recommended power requirement is 60-70hp.
Reducing equipment costs was also the rationale behind the introduction of self-propelled complete diet feeders from both K & K Whistance and RHM (UK).
These self-loading machines can mix and dispense sufficient feed for 24 hours for 150-200 cows and are seen as a less expensive alternative to mixer feeder wagons for farmer syndicates employing a dedicated operator.
By sharing the cost of the machine, argue both companies, individuals are able to release capital which would otherwise be tied up in their own feeder, loader, tractor and labour.
K & K Whistance – which has taken over the distribution of the Seko range of diet feeders previously handled by Lister Taylor – exhibited a vertical tub machine, the Italian-built Mutti Rollercar Mega. It is powered by a 160hp engine and has a fully hydrostatic 40kph transmission.
A toothed rotor at the head of the loading arm is used to both shred conserved material, and transfer it and concentrates to the 17cu m capacity tub, where mixing is carried out by a single vertical auger.
Discharge is to either the left or right, with all functions being controlled from the cab.
The Israeli-built 7.5t capacity 630C mobile mixer feeder from RHM uses a similar method of shredding and loading, but mixing and discharge, to the left only, is carried out by four longitudinal augers. Price £47,000. *