18 June 2019

"Sometimes I think: I should have done it sooner"

Pieter Delisse is a dairy farmer in The Netherlands. He has 270 dairy cows and uses his seven-year-old Solomix mixer wagon to collect a dairy production of 11,700 litres of milk per cow per year, with a content of 3.55% protein and 4% fat. The quality of their feed is excellent, and consists of chopped grass, maize, alfalfa, pressed pulp, minerals and 16 litres of water per cow. The mixture, which has a dry matter content of around 36%, is mixed quickly and evenly.

Pieter recognises the importance of sharp auger knives. Pieter Delisse: "I check the mixing quality of the feed as well as the diet feeder itself on a regular basis. I check the sharpness of the auger knives by pulling a rope through them. By gauging the speed at which the rope is cut, I know how sharp the knives are. If they do not cut the rope quickly enough, I know the knives are blunt. I do this every one-and-a-half years on average with the knives, but they wear out much quicker at the bottom of the mixing tub than at the top as the resistance is greater at the bottom. In between, I sharpen the knives again before replacing them. The difference between sharp and blunt knives is clear to see – you get a far better mix of feed when it is cut well. Once I had replaced the knives, I thought to myself: 'I should have done it sooner!'"

Note: Make sure the diet feeder or the PTO shaft is disconnected or the tractor key is not in the ignition during the check.

 

Read more about self-sharpening auger knives

Read why you should check the knives regularly