NDE vertical feed mixer cuts waste

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Dairy farmers Grant and Kylie Miller purchased a model 802 NDE vertical feed mixer from Eastern Spreaders in October 2007

NDE vertical feed mixer cuts waste
NDE feed mixers feature long lasting, patented curved carbide-insert knives to ensure very fast cutting and mixing

The Millers have upgraded the dairy farm Florence Park in Tatura, Victoria which they bought from Grant’s parents seven years ago

A concrete and steel feed pad has been constructed to accommodate their herd of 450 cows increasing their property by 50Ha.

 "We were feeding hay in the paddock and were wasting 30 per cent of our fodder," Grant says. 

With the purchase of the NDE Vertical feed mixer from Kerang, Victoria- based fertiliser, hay and silage equipment specialist Eastern Spreaders, and the construction of the feed pad Grant says wastage was virtually eliminated.

"We were very happy with the 20 cubic metre 802, but were doing four loads a day to feed the herd, so in 2009 we traded up to a 32 cubic metre twin auger model 2804 NDE, which has halved our feeding time."

The herd is run on pasture for eight months of the year and is completely fed off the feed pad for four months during the winter.

"One of the features that impresses me with the NDE is the patented long curved knives with carbide inserts," Grant says. "They really assist in thorough mixing." 

Depending on the material being cut, NDE knives give up to and in excess of 4000 hours cutting life.

"Also NDE verticals unload quickly and completely," Grant adds. "There is no residue to contaminate the following batch.

"We are completely satisfied with the performance of the NDE and the prompt and efficient service provided by Eastern Spreaders.  It does everything we require and all that they claimed it would do."

Waste not want not

According to Eastern Spreaders' Albert Freeman the continuing dry throughout many areas of eastern Australia has caused a resurgence in enquiries for fodder handling and feeding.

"With reports of store cattle selling for just 23 cents a kilo, live weight, graziers are considering the merits of pre-mixed rations," Freeman says.

"Simply throwing hay out to livestock is a wasteful method of feeding.

"Up to 40 per cent of the fodder may be destroyed by trampling or fouling with manure.  Even straw or other roughage can be made palatable and nutritious by processing in a feed mixer and adding molasses or other available additives and/or cracked grain."

Freeman says that’s where an NDE Vertical Cutter/Mixer/Feeder will come in handy.

Eastern Spreaders began importing NDE machines in 2000. As the current Australian distributor, the company says the Canadian-made NDE feed mixer has been well-received in Australian dairy and feedlot situations.

"NDE feedmixers have a very quick cutting and efficient mixing ability," Freeman says.

Features of the NDE vertical Feed Mixer

NDE mixers feature long lasting, patented curved carbide-insert knives to ensure very fast cutting and mixing and boast the ability to empty feed completely into troughs or feeders.

"There is no residue to contaminate the following batch," Freeman says. "The feed mixers are also very economical to maintain."

NDE feed mixers come in sizes from 11 cubic metres in single auger configuration (capacity from one to two large bales of fodder plus grain etc) to 42 cubic metres for the large triple auger machines for the large dairy farmer or feed lot.

Machines from 11 to 20 cubic metres have a single large diameter auger with a "sweeper" that keeps the product moving. 

Twin auger machines have a stepped floor which places the rear auger floor 250mm higher than the front auger floor, so the product moves in a figure 8 flow pattern, ensuring complete mixing of all material. 

With the increasing demand for machines able to deliver into self-feeders NDE has also developed a range of side door models ranging from 10 to 22 cubic metres. 

Discharge elevators are factory fitted from 3 feet (0.9 metres) to 9 feet (2.7 metres) and can be set at any discharge height from 1 metre to 2.5 metres.

"NDE Vertical Mixers can also be ordered with two side doors with a discharge elevator on either the left or right hand side," Freeman says.

"Both the lifting and driving of the elevator are operated from the tractor remotes.

"All models will accept the largest round or square bale and process it quickly, while some models will hold up to six large bales as well as grain and concentrates," he says. 

In addition, al NDE machines are fitted with "Weightronix" weighing systems with bold type monitors.

A recent addition to Eastern Spreaders' range of equipment is the Keltec Bale Slice which easily slices bales from the bottom when loading into balefeeders or mixers and holds and removes the wrap to avoid contamination of the feed.

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