The benefit of feeding root cropsto stock is well recorded over centuries of application and modernfarmers are increasingly returning to this basic means of providing valuablecost effective nutrition to a variety of stock in todays demandingclimate, says livestock equipment manufacturer Ritchie. Relatively cheap to grow whilemaximising on natural fertilizers and requiring minimal husbandry, animal feedroot crops are re-awakening farmers interest in providing stock with a home-grown winter forage supplement. Newvarieties of staple or main crop turnips provide fast growing catch crops highin energy for autumn, winter or spring feeding.
Technology and 2013 weatherpatterns have also played a major part in providing farmers with high yieldingcash crops such as potatoes, turnips and carrots. Grown initially for human consumption, thesehigh yielding crops have thrived during the ideal growing conditions of the2013 seasons, enabling supermarket buyers to be fussy about the qualityon offer with thousands of tons of crops being rejected. Combine this with the tons of stale andrejected bread as well as brewery and distillery mulch, and sheep, cattle and dairyherds could be in for a varied and appetising diet this winter suggests the company.
Ritchie rooting for farmers
Its one thing growing these cropseconomically but quite another feeding them efficiently and this is whereBritish agricultural machinery manufacturer Ritchies range of root & grainfeeders plays its part in the modern farming approach. Suitable for front or rear tractor mounting,or for use on telescopic forklifts, this hydraulically driven root & grain feeder canbe used to self-load, mix, chop and dispense crops to suit stock feedneeds. This one tonne capacity heavy-duty feeder incorporates a stone trapin its design to eject stones and debris providing protection to the augersand knives. Likewise a full-length trashtrap positioned under the central auger, helps deliver cleaner feed to housedanimals.
Stock farmer Eric Jolly uses hisRitchie machine daily throughout the winter months feeding a mix of crimpedbarley and root crops directly to his housed bull beef, calving cows andfatteners. The machine has provedefficient and effective allowing one person to use it as a self-fillingfront-end bucket, in a drive in- drive out clamp process, before discharginginto feed troughs.