Paul Power is a farmer based between Waterford city and seaside haven of Tramore. Paul runs a beef finishing and tillage business. He finishes in or around 100 head of cattle per year on a mix of home mixed meal and pit silage. Up until last year he used a Strautmann 1250 tub feeder to feed his animals, when it came time to change, he decided that a Feeder/straw blower would be “the right job” for his sheds as the cattle are kept on both slatted areas and straw bedded areas. Having demoed other brands of combi machines the Mixing ability of the Strautmann stood out and made it an easy decision. When we visited the yard, he was mixing a small mix for the remaining cattle in the yard and the quality of mix produced was “Top Notch” according to Paul. During peak feeding he would be mixing over 3 tonnes per day. Speaking of the mixing process he said that “compared to all other machines he has tried the Strautmann mixes better and faster than them all” He said that by the time he has got down out of the loader tractor after adding all of the mix and got into the mixer tractor the VM 1451 has created the “perfect mix every time”. Once every 8 days or so Paul mixes a batch of his own course ration, each batch consists of home-grown barley, beet pulp and distillers’ grains. He said that the mix is “consistent every time”. When it comes to feeding time, Paul believes that the fact that the doors are on the curved surface of the feeder the mix flows out very “evenly and naturally”
Speaking to Paul about the straw blower element of the machine he said that the fact that it is combined with the feeder makes it “Very simple” as the machine can stay hooked to the same tractor for feeding and bedding time. Before this new machine arrived in September 2018, Paul was fork bedding every few days. He has noticed some major changes since moving to the straw blower, the volume of straw being used has dropped dramatically form 10 bales per week to 7 bales per week. A 30% saving on straw every week and he also said that he believes that he has made a 50% saving on time since the machine arrived. Paul has some sizable sheds and has found that the blowing ability of the Strautmann has greatly exceeded the 45 feet that is claimed and is blowing straw right to the back of a 60-foot shed. Paul sees that the fact that the bale is broken up in the tube before entering the blowing unit allows for a constant and consistent feed of straw from the height adjustable spout. On the odd occasion that Paul hears stone in the tub he has found that it is very handy to open the feeding door a small bit and the stone will fall out with little or no straw or time lost. Paul feels that having the combined machine is the only way to go and his Strautmann machine gives him the best of both worlds.