With a focus on improving forage quality, Rob Wilson has recently increased the capacity of his grass machinery, to improve timeliness and make the most of drying and wilting.
“We’ll mow around 350-400 acres each year, and across different cuts, this will see 1,000 round bales of silage and haylage put in the barn each season,” he says.
With an 80 cow suckler herd and followers at Wroot Grange Farm near Doncaster, plus local contracting to help neighbours, AK & JMK Wilson and Son is keen to get the job done sooner, and to a higher standard.
"Choosing more productive kit means we can make our forage to fit the weather patterns," Rob Wilson, farmer
“We’re looking for drier forage – typically 30-35% suits our cattle,” he says. “So we’ve put the emphasis on more productive kit so we can make our forage to fit the weather patterns, rather than wait for prolonged dry periods, and miss out.”
That philosophy has seen him recently invest in an ex-demo 3332MT mower conditioner and a 9m Kverneland tedder, to run with an existing 7.2m twin rotor rake, all supplied by local dealer Farmstar.
“With QuattroLink suspension, the mower is simply brilliant,” he says. “Where our old unit would burn 22 litres of diesel/hour at 15kph, this new one uses just 18 litres/hour. It glides over our fields, and the change from plastic to steel tine conditioner has shortened our wilting times. We can mow faster, and still use less diesel than before.”
Daughter Annie adds that with the ability to adjust the front and rear edge of the conditioner plate, the mower can easily be fine-tuned to different crops.
“There’s no doubt we’ve stepped-up the quality of our forage,” says Annie. “We can make more silage, to a higher quality, in a shorter period. And while the tedder is bigger than we would normally have chosen, it is comfortably on top of the job.”