The farm was established back in the 1930s with only 32ha (80 acres). Today the Radford family farms about 160ha (400 acres). In order to produce the best quality milk it's important to make the best quality silage. That's why the Radfords use a forage wagon for harvesting, a Pöttinger Europrofi Combiline 4510L. In comparison to the forage harvester that was used before, the wagon offers greater flexibility.
“It allows a decision to be made today, if we cut tomorrow” adds Graham. A noticeable reduction in fuel consumed is a benefit too according to Graham “The wagon works really well, it’s far cheaper than a forage harvester. The chop length is ideal for the cows, it’s not too long and not too short” Besides the cost savings Graham comments on the farm’s approach to making quality silage: “To achieve a high quality forage we don’t tend to cut until 10 o’clock in the morning. This is when the sun is already out at its peak and sugars in the grass will be at their highest”.
The feed quality in the silage can be seen after just six weeks in the clamp and continuing through the winter feed out. One of the key advantages to harvesting with the wagon is the ideal chop length of 30 to 40mm. It’s just the ideal length for cows to digest. When it goes into the clamp, it’s not too long and not too short, so it gets packed in really well for a tight clamp.
During a visit to Austria, the Radfords have seen that the Pöttinger company is very family orientated. The employees are very loyal to the company and it’s got more heart, comments Stephen. We are a family run farm here and you tend to get more response. I think if you are with family members, you tend to go the extra mile”