Friday, 17 May 2019 10:28

Keeping it short and sharp

Written by  Mark Daniel
The knives automatically remain sharp during operation. The knives automatically remain sharp during operation.

When harvesting grass silage, farmers and contractors strive to get the highest possible forage quality to increase profits.

A key influence on feed quality is the theoretical chopped length, whether by forage harvester, loader wagon or round baler.

Short-chopped forage leads to a faster pH reduction, reducing the risk of fermentation failure. And it has a positive effect on the stability of the grass silage and on livestock health and performance. 

Cattle have incisors only in the lower jaw, with the upper jaw consisting of a horn plate. So they swallow grass almost without having chewed it. When grass is short chopped, the forage has a larger surface area and more energy is absorbed. And it stimulates saliva flow, which in turn has a positive effect on rumination. 

The optimum chopped length is about 20 - 60mm. The higher the proportion of short particles in the segment up to 60mm, the better the performance of the ruminant

Austrian machinery maker Pöttinger says it focuses on this requirement when developing its machines. Its Impress round balers achieve a theoretical 36mm length from 32 knives, while the Torro and Jumbo loader wagons achieve a 34mm theoretical length of cut. 

A recent study by the noted Austrian research institute JR Josephinum Research Wieselburg showed the distribution frequency of particle lengths with the Torro and Jumbo loader wagons is 86% at <40mm and for particle lengths of 40 – 80mm only 11%.

Sharp knives can guarantee optimum chopping quality, lower power consumption and help increase output. As the sharpness of the knives deteriorates during the working day, Pottingers’s Twinblade reversible blades can be turned without the need for tools, ensuring that the crop is presented to sharp knives during a long working day. 

Optional Autocut automated sharpening on the loader wagons guarantees the knives are always sharp during operation, helping reduce power and fuel consumption by up to 20% and reducing daily maintenance by 45 minutes.

More like this

Mower speeds up cutting time

Hari Hari dairy farmer Zane Wyatt says the arrival of the new Pottinger NovaCat Alpha Motion 301 front mower will slash his mowing times.

A guide to the right tyre choice

Grassland, cultivation and seeding specialist Pottinger has updated its guide to tyre choice and use for agricultural implements, including its own balers and forage wagons.

Mower is a cut above the rest

The Lalich family have found success with Pottinger for their dairy farm and contracting business at Ngarua, near Morrinsville, where a manager looks after the farm, leaving father Trevor, and son Daniel free for the contracting work.

Pöttinger's easy to use terminal

A new Isobus terminal from Pöttinger – the Expert 75 – is easy and convenient to use, notably because of its one-hand operation.

» The RNG Weather Report

Featured

Vaccinations protect people, animals

As we struggle to fathom how we ended up in the throes of a measles outbreak again, we’re reminded of the importance of vaccinations to protect us from life-threatening diseases.

 

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Lack of interest

The final list of candidates for Fonterra’s board election is out. Surprisingly only one candidate came through the farmer nominated…

DairyNZ poll

Talking about elections, the DairyNZ board election is shaping up to be a much more exciting affair.

 

» Connect with Dairy News