Peter Mengel, a third-generation dairy farmer from Pittsworth Qld, bought a Strautmann Verti-Mix 2401 mixer wagon and says it is saving him time and money. Peter has 230 cows, mainly dairy Holsteins and a small beef herd, on his 800ha dry land farm.
“It’s been so dry out here, we can’t even grow grass, let alone feed crops, so we started using a feed mixer,” Peter said. “I previously had a different brand vertical feed mixer, but it didn’t have the suspension to cope with our terrain.
When the undercarriage needed fixing, it was going to cost me thousands of dollars, so I bought a Strautmann Verti-Mix 2401 instead. It comes standard with tandem sprung axle suspension, which has made a huge difference when travelling within the paddock.
“The Verti-Mix has the new Vario2 mixing auger, which has a stepped flight design. After I’ve put the last bale in the mixer, the feed ration is totally mixed in five minutes. The other machine used to take twenty minutes.
I’m mixing four times a day – twice for the dairy cows, one mix for the heifers and one for the dry cows and springers – so that’s a lot of time saved, and it’s reduced my fuel costs by $1,200 a month.
“The Verti-Mix also delivers a high quality Total Mixed Ration (TMR) – the cows don’t leave anything behind, and we’ve had an increase in milk solids, with more fat and protein, so the nutritional benefits are clearly there.
My feed mix is 500kg corn (milled), 300kg soybean meal, 3,000 litres of water, one medium hay square and six bales of grain sorghum, that has been harvested as a total crop and ensiled when the seed head was ‘cheesy’.”
Shane Ryan, the local Strautmann product manager from distributor Inlon, says the stepped flight design on the Vario2 auger delivers more efficient mixing.
“It gives Peter fast low-horsepower mixing because the steps lift and loosen the fodder as it mixes, creating a uniform feed ration without over processing,” he said.
“Tests comparing traditional pure smooth spiral augers with the stepped flight auger have showed considerably reduced power consumption with the new design. The patented knife adjustment system also means it can be adapted to specific conditions, using straw knives, bale cutting or root crop knives.”
Strautmann offers a range of discharge doors and conveyor options. Peter likes the position of the unloading door in the corner of the mixer.
“The auger can push the mix out the door without leaving any feed behind, which is much better than my previous mixer.
“The Strautmann Verti-Mix is a quality machine, and I’m pleased to be rid of the suspension problems. I also have large 435mm (17-in) tyres on the mixer, which minimise any rolling from side to side on uneven ground, keeping a good centre of gravity.”
Shane Ryan said the German designed and built Strautmann Verti-Mix had been a proven performer in Australia for over 28 years.
The new Vario2 auger built on its established pedigree, providing better nutrition, improved feed efficiency and cost, and the opportunity to reduce wastage.
With sizes from 10.5 to 45 cubic metres, in single, twin and triple auger configurations, there is a Strautmann suitable for the full spectrum of feeding applications.