The new three-model range of Strautmann self-propelled diet feeders heading to next month’s Royal Highland Show are not for sale, but instead come with a contract hire package, which spreads the cost monthly over 3, 4 or 5 year terms. A mandatory service and maintenance contract runs alongside the hire contract to ensure the machine is well-maintained, and at the end of the hire term, farmers can either buy the unit, or upgrade to a new one. The smallest model is the Sherpa, a 2wd drive single auger machine. Available in two sizes, the smallest has a 12m³ mixing capacity and is suitable for dairy herds with 200+ cows. Only 2.54m high, the Sherpa’s milling head can reach up to 4.30m at the clamp face. The other two models are the Verti-Mix SF single (single auger) and the SF double (two augers), with mixing capacities ranging from 11 to 20m³. These are suitable for dairy herds with 400 milking cows upwards.

According to Opico managing director James Woolway, the contract hire and service package negates the need for upfront capital investment and fixes the monthly cost of a farm’s feeding machinery. “After the past few years’ price volatility, we believe this will be an attractive option for dairy farmers.”