Quality Machines Producing Quality Milk
Bothers Tim and Michael Quigley work in partnership running a dairy farm just outside Nenagh in Co. Tipperary. The duo took over the farm from their father Tim SR. 20 years ago and since then have revolutionised their farming system. “When we took over from our father, there were 100 cows in total on the farm along with 80 beef cattle all of which were spread over 220 acres. Today we are milking 330 cows as well as also carrying the replacement heifers and beef offspring for our own use with the surplus being sold off. Because we have increased the herd numbers so much, we are now farming a total of 447 acres which comprises of a combination of both owned and rented land”.
“Clear & easy decision for us on what to do next”.
The demise of the milk quota back in 2014 allowed the brothers to increase their milk production drastically. In order to make it economically viable, Tim and Michael specialised in quality and efficient milk production. “We were always set up for milk production on the farm. We are lucky in the sense that our area is particularly well known for grass growth; this has allowed us to expand quite naturally over the years taking away the stress of having to find quality feed”.
In 2011 the Quigley’s started looking at ways to better utilise their quality grass. They initially hired in a local agricultural contractor who had a zero grazer to do their feeding and were very pleased with the results, “once we changed over to the zero grazing the results were almost immediate – the cows were much happier, milk production went up and our concentrate bills went down, it was a clear and easy decision for us on what to do next”.
Tim and Michael are very much of the attitude of beings self-reliant with their machinery. They decided in 2012 to invest in a second hand wagon and front mower combination in order to start their zero grazing operation. This system worked extremely well for them. In early 2017 they upgraded – investing in a new Strautmann Giga Vitesse 3601. “We started looking at changing our pervious wagon back in late 2016 and to be honest we did quite a bit of research as to what was available on the market. We had heard good reports about the Strautmann from a friend of ours who has 3 machines. So we went to look at them and were immediately impressed by the build quality and performance. We returned home and contacted our local dealer Quigley’s Garage and before long had a deal done for a new 3601.
In order to maximise the output and efficiency of the machine, Tim and Michael opted to increase their wagon size with the 3601 up to a DIN capacity of 34m3 which was a big step up from their previous machine. “We went for the 3601 as it allows us to carry twice as much as our old machine which translates into one journey instead of two. The 3601 can carry approximately 14 ton of fresh grass which is enough to feed our cows overnight”. “We opted for oversize 710/50R26.5 tyres as well as a rear steering axle to save the ground we are travelling on and not to damage the grass for regrowth purposes; to be fair it performs extremely well for a machine that weighs 9 ton empty. The steering axle was a big advantage over our older machine which had a fixed rear axle”.
“For us the build quality of the machine itself has to be one of the best things about it”.
So what are the stand out features of the Strautmann Giga Vitesse 3601? “For us the build quality of the machine itself has to be one of the best things about it. It’s made to handle the Irish grass and conditions. Another great feature we find is the continuous flow system (CFS) accelerator drum which spreads the crop across the width of the intake as it enters the machine. This allows for even chopping when the knives are engaged for silage as well as an even feed. It has allowed us to completely fill the wagon every time, saving time and fuel. We measured a 26km round trip at zero grazing during the summer and including filling and unloading which is quite fast, we used 27 litres of diesel, which I cannot complain about”.
Tim and Michael also use the 3601 to make 350-400 acres of their own silage.“We opted for the 3601 over a zero grazer because it gives us the performance and capability to do our own silage as well as the zero grazing which is a big plus for us. It has the capacity to move large volumes of grass and is very simple to use. All the controls are clearly labelled on the in-cab terminal allowing anyone to operate it with minimum training”.
“We would have no problems recommending Strautmann”.
“We are extremely pleased with Strautmann and cannot fault the wagon so far. Dealer backup support is readily available should the need arise which so far hasn’t. We have 390 loads through the machine since May with zero issues.We would have no problems recommending Strautmann to anyone; it simply works for us and our business.