Justin Hennessy farms near Balincollig on county Cork. Following a sensible rise in numbers following the abolition of quotas, Justin is currently milking 140 cows. He is quite highly stocked so getting the best bang for his buck from the fodder he produces is paramount to his business. With this in mind, Justin purchased a Strautmann Verti-Mix 1451 last summer and started using it to mix and feed his animals at the end of August 2018 the machine worked every day, right up until the 15th of April with no mechanical issues. Speaking to Justin the reason he chose the Strautmann is that he could see that the machines were better engineered and thought out than all the competition. He said that “every last detail has been thought of”. Since the arrival of the new wagon Justin has noticed a complete reduction in the level of displaced stomachs in his herd, which were an issue with a previous diet feeder. The ability to load the machine from all three sides has been a major advantage for Justin, he manages to do this with a smallish tractor and loader combination.
This means that the machine can be loaded with three different ingredients from different angles with no need to move the machine. Justin has found that the ability to unload from both sides of the feeder works very well for him and his sheds, as he can feed both sides of a passageway with access from only one end. Once emptying, Justin has found that the speed and consistency of the emptying allow his cows to get a “great even feed” along the barrier at a very consistent forward speed. So far Justin believes he has put 1500 tonnes of silage through it, mixed with straw, hay, soya and chopped beet. He has found the mixing to be very good and by the time he has it loaded it is completely mixed and ready to feed. One advantage that Justin hadn’t thought of during the decision to buy process was the ability to see the wheels of the tub when reversing, this makes for a far easier and safer machine to reverse around the yard. With his previous machine he couldn’t see the wheels and he can’t believe how much easier it has made manoeuvring the machine around the yard. After one season of working with his Strautmann machine, Justin is sure that his research telling him that the Strautmann was the best engineered and thought through machine on the market was correct. He said that they have literally “thought of everything”.