Welcome rains in parts of the country enable farmers to make plans to feed their animals through the coming winter. One of those plans is silage, which in any case plays an increasingly important role in animal nutrition, but for that the farmer needs the right equipment.

A successful farmer does not blindly buy the most expensive equipment on which he can lay his hands. A lot of thinking is done before spending large sums of money and often the number-fitting tool is preferred over the largest, most expensive one. Sometimes it is wiser to buy a few smaller tools than one large one that can work in only one place at a time and that leaves everything standing if it might stand still. The choice of tools is therefore of utmost importance, because if a farmer spends a lot of money on equipment, it must work efficiently or there is a rapid decline in farming. Arno Cronjé, general farm manager of the Rhys Evans group outside Viljoenskroon in the good old Free State, understands this principle, because in the end it is just another complicated farming equation with many variables that have to be made.

The answer to Arno’s equation already got an answer six years ago when he had to decide how to get silage from the fields quickly, easily and cheaply. Valtrac then introduced Arno to the Nogueira Pecus II 9004 single-row silage cutter. So logical is the Pecus’ design and so reliable its operation, that Arno immediately bought two. Two years later he bought another and the following year his fourth one. “The price of the Pecus carvers is very reasonable and they are relatively cheap and easy to maintain,” says Arno. “The carvers are reliable and efficient. You will soon find out what to look for if the carvers need to be serviced. The machine is easy to understand and with punctual maintenance it is a machine that lasts a very long time. Its service life is much longer than the five year depreciation period and the wear parts are very basic and easily accessible. ” The Pecus carver cuts Arno’s silage to 16 mm, but it is very easy to make adjustments by physically removing one of four gears and exchanging it with another one. “A 65 kW tractor pulls the Pecus easily, but we usually put an 80 kW Valtra tractor in front to tow the wagon together,” says Arno. “We plant between 100 and 120 ha of silage per year and win up to 30 tons of feed sorghum silage per hectare. A single harvester cuts between three and four hectares per day, which produces about 100 tons per day. With two units full-time in the country, I can easily reach my 120 ha for the season, ”he says. Farmers who only want to carve about 30 to 40 hectares of silage find it uneconomical and unprofitable to purchase larger silage cutters, but this cutter is an economical option for smaller plantings. An important further bonus for the farmer is the fact that the Pecus is provided and backed by Valtrac, which is known for legendary service.

“It is very convenient to do business with Valtrac, because we can easily exchange our old carvers for new ones. The price compares nicely with the maintenance costs, ”he says. Valtrac in Paris has come a long way with the Rhys Evans group. They understand the responsible decisions that farmers have to make and make sure they thoroughly understand the farmer’s need before making recommendations on tools. Another good news for farmers is that Valtrac now also has brand new Noguiera Pecus two-row silage cutters in stock. They can cut two rows with a row width of 730 to 950 mm. Single-row models are also available.

Contact Attie de Villiers at 083-261-9863, 056-817-8006 or send an email to attiedev@valtrac.co.za. Also visit www.valtrac.co.za.