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Thread: Wagon V forager

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    Wagon V forager

    Trying to find the pro's and cons of wagon ownership.We like the idea of owning a wagon but are finding it difficult to get the relevant information.
    Our customers only take one cut mid July with heavy crops usually to feed beef cattle which we use a John Deere self propelled to harvest averaging 10 acres an hour.
    Some of the ground we go on would be quite steep and some of the yards would be tight - we currently use 10 ton trailers and would want a wagon to go where they could go.
    Would probably be looking at a smaller wagon or even two but concerned about output and chop length on these size machines.They are advertised with a chop length of 45mm but what percentage of the load would be chopped to this length.A friend of mine owns a profi which chops well in young grass but in older crops and with a chunk of power in front chops poorly in a good heavy old crop I believe that the knives are spring loaded and are pushed back by the volume of grass going in.
    Has anyone gone from a wagon back to a chopper?

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Metal detector. Or lack thereof.

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    Senior Member davidroberts30's Avatar
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    Re: Wagon V forager

    i had no problems chopping older grass last year,if the knives are being pushed back they are blunt

    how much power have to to drive a wagon?

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    Senior Member davidroberts30's Avatar
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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    Metal detector. Or lack thereof.
    do you feed bales?

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    Senior Member Recycled's Avatar
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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by davidroberts30 View Post
    do you feed bales?
    he doesnt feed anything

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    Senior Member davidroberts30's Avatar
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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by Recycled View Post
    he doesnt feed anything
    right then so post 2 can be deleted

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by davidroberts30 View Post
    right then so post 2 can be deleted
    he's normally got pleanty to say on the matter , you can get more into the stomach with short chop

  8. #8

    Re: Wagon V forager

    Would have tractors from 130-200hp.
    The wagon we would buy would be the same as yours Davidroberts30 if we bought new but was thinking of purchasing 2 second hand machines to match output of spfh.
    would you ever go back to your old Newholland

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    Senior Member davidroberts30's Avatar
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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by Oh Deere View Post
    Would have tractors from 130-200hp.
    The wagon we would buy would be the same as yours Davidroberts30 if we bought new but was thinking of purchasing 2 second hand machines to match output of spfh.
    would you ever go back to your old Newholland
    i wouldn't go back to a spfh now
    life is much simpler
    less labour,less diesel

    granted the output wont be quite the same,i was doing approx 50 acres a day with 165hp and reasonable close carts

  10. #10

    Re: Wagon V forager

    What is the chop lenght like,what percentage would be under 50mm.Would any get through not chopped at all.We used to run mengele wagons 20 years ago hardly anything would be chopped,At the age of 15 I used to drive the wagon behind a David brown 996 would drop the knife bank back when the wagon blocked and leave them there (could go twice as fast)untill my father noticed what I was up to ahhh the good old days

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    Senior Member davidroberts30's Avatar
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    Re: Wagon V forager

    a decent row in front and most was chopped
    unconditioned grass is worst as it goes in length ways and wont touch a blade

    we didn't have any issues buckraking

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by davidroberts30 View Post
    do you feed bales?
    Surely in a baler the stuff is not necessarily chopped. In a wagon, any wire etc entering is chopped. When you have lost a couple of cows to wire then you will start to see what I mean.

    I guess in future wagons will be fitted with metal detectors somehow.

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    Senior Member davidroberts30's Avatar
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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    Surely in a baler the stuff is not necessarily chopped. In a wagon, any wire etc entering is chopped. When you have lost a couple of cows to wire then you will start to see what I mean.

    I guess in future wagons will be fitted with metal detectors somehow.
    do you feed chopped bales?

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by Oh Deere View Post
    What is the chop lenght like,what percentage would be under 50mm.Would any get through not chopped at all.We used to run mengele wagons 20 years ago hardly anything would be chopped,At the age of 15 I used to drive the wagon behind a David brown 996 would drop the knife bank back when the wagon blocked and leave them there (could go twice as fast)untill my father noticed what I was up to ahhh the good old days
    We have found that chop length is pretty reliable - at least 50% at ideal length and then a mixture of some shorter and some (more) longer. We have found that the way the grass is raked has a big influence on maintaining good chop length - we rake two swaths together instead of bringing two swaths in on top of a centre swath - that way much more of the grass is across the knives rather than being in line with the knives. Other factor is stones - good ground prep is big factor in maintaining knife sharpness. Interesting to see all the stones in the manger - work in Germany(?) on assessing effects of shattered stones (grit) in SPFH silage causing gut irritation.

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by ploughman1963 View Post
    Other factor is stones - good ground prep is big factor in maintaining knife sharpness. Interesting to see all the stones in the manger - work in Germany(?) on assessing effects of shattered stones (grit) in SPFH silage causing gut irritation.
    Our contractor did some second cut couple of years ago when our trailed chopper broke down, managed to go quarrying with the rake and I ended up with a pit full of grassy gravel after it'd been chopped up in his SP..... Poor Youngstock had to eat it as it was too bad to feed to the cows...... They struggled on it and was a reminder of why I do my own silage!

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by Oh Deere View Post
    Trying to find the pro's and cons of wagon ownership.We like the idea of owning a wagon but are finding it difficult to get the relevant information.
    Our customers only take one cut mid July with heavy crops usually to feed beef cattle which we use a John Deere self propelled to harvest averaging 10 acres an hour.
    Some of the ground we go on would be quite steep and some of the yards would be tight - we currently use 10 ton trailers and would want a wagon to go where they could go.
    Would probably be looking at a smaller wagon or even two but concerned about output and chop length on these size machines.They are advertised with a chop length of 45mm but what percentage of the load would be chopped to this length.A friend of mine owns a profi which chops well in young grass but in older crops and with a chunk of power in front chops poorly in a good heavy old crop I believe that the knives are spring loaded and are pushed back by the volume of grass going in.
    Has anyone gone from a wagon back to a chopper?
    You will find single cut July grass to be unsuitable for making good silage in most applications but especially so with a wagon IMO.Young ,lish, dairy grass just slightly damper than dry chops the best through a wagon not old boozy stuff.Comments on another reply about no problems buckraking this kind of stuff I find unlikely but it depends what you are used to and what you use.You will not get through 10 acres an hour with one machine in that kind of crop either,even next to the pit.

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by Recycled View Post
    he's normally got pleanty to say on the matter , you can get more into the stomach with short chop

    It's keeping it in the stomach, that's the problem, wouldn't go back to precision chop at any price, just my opinion and experiences with our wagon.

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    I've changed from a class 860 to 2 torro 51 wagons, I would not take a present of a sp now , plus my customers don't want the sp back either, with 7 seasons done with the wagons ,we have tried tested and proved that wagons when worked properly are way ahead of a sp outfit , less diesel , less breakdowns, less men , less headaches , better silage, more work and the all important one more profit .

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by James d geoghegan View Post
    I've changed from a class 860 to 2 torro 51 wagons, I would not take a present of a sp now , plus my customers don't want the sp back either, with 7 seasons done with the wagons ,we have tried tested and proved that wagons when worked properly are way ahead of a sp outfit , less diesel , less breakdowns, less men , less headaches , better silage, more work and the all important one more profit .
    back to your usual salesmans pitch

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by Recycled View Post
    back to your usual salesmans pitch
    No I'm just telling it as it is , I have 500 ac of new work booked in for this year , farmers are doing their homework and have copped on that we are saving them money . I couldn't care how you or anybody else cuts your silage , it makes no difference to me , but when farmers come back to me and tell me how happy they and their cows are since they switched to wagon silage , it gives me a great feeling of doing a good job for them , I rest my case .

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Used a wagon for the last 3 years. Just sold it and bought a second hand trailed JF precision chop to make my silage now. The longer chop was ok, but just couldn't get the DM intake into the cows that I felt I can with precision chop. The idea being that with the trailer forager we can still do the work ourselves, with less of the rushing around of a SPFH contractor gang.

    I grow a fair bit of Lucerne, and I feel that needs to either be chopped with a forager nice and short, or baled very dry. The wagon seemed to leave it in between the two in terms of chop length, which then led to a degree of sorting when fed out.

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by James d geoghegan View Post
    No I'm just telling it as it is , I have 500 ac of new work booked in for this year , farmers are doing their homework and have copped on that we are saving them money . I couldn't care how you or anybody else cuts your silage , it makes no difference to me , but when farmers come back to me and tell me how happy they and their cows are since they switched to wagon silage , it gives me a great feeling of doing a good job for them , I rest my case .
    it could just have been you had a shyte sp team .

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by PowerQuadPlus View Post
    Used a wagon for the last 3 years. Just sold it and bought a second hand trailed JF precision chop to make my silage now. The longer chop was ok, but just couldn't get the DM intake into the cows that I felt I can with precision chop. The idea being that with the trailer forager we can still do the work ourselves, with less of the rushing around of a SPFH contractor gang.

    I grow a fair bit of Lucerne, and I feel that needs to either be chopped with a forager nice and short, or baled very dry. The wagon seemed to leave it in between the two in terms of chop length, which then led to a degree of sorting when fed out.
    i asked a farmer a few weeks back if he was still working with a wagon but he had also stopped for the same reason . think he would be fairly low input , not feeding much concentraits . his take on it was his grass was usually fairly poor quality and he just couldnt get enough of it into his suckler cows. the appeared contented enough but there were spending to much time chewing there cud and not enough time eating and there were loosing to much condition , he did recon if he was cutting younger leafy grass it would probably be alright . its been hinted at a few times on here but thats the first time ive heard of a farmer thats experianced it .he seemed to know his stuff to , he appeared to be an expert .........on everything

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by Recycled View Post
    i asked a farmer a few weeks back if he was still working with a wagon but he had also stopped for the same reason . think he would be fairly low input , not feeding much concentraits . his take on it was his grass was usually fairly poor quality and he just couldnt get enough of it into his suckler cows. the appeared contented enough but there were spending to much time chewing there cud and not enough time eating and there were loosing to much condition , he did recon if he was cutting younger leafy grass it would probably be alright . its been hinted at a few times on here but thats the first time ive heard of a farmer thats experianced it .he seemed to know his stuff to , he appeared to be an expert .........on everything
    Well we run a fairly high input/ output milking herd, and I feel that wagon silage is more suited to the lower input guys maybe? My thinking was that higher yielding cows obviously have a higher demand for dry matter intake, which is the bit I struggled with. In an 'ideal' year we would always try and cut silage first week of may, to get the leafy grass that does chop better in a wagon. But that still never seems to chop as well as you think which led me to think that ill get a more consistent chop, in grass with differing growth stages, with a forager.

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    what wagon had you , I think these farmer sized machines have not got enough knives to chop grass enough to make top class silage suitable for big dairy cows , the grass needs needs to be chopped very well but not mashed as a lot of the sp harvesters do , we keep our knives sharp and keep the wagons in top class condition but I have seen other wagon contractors and farmers chopping very badly and this stuff is hard handled and gives wagons a bad name , ploughman 1963 and I run the same wagons and we have nothing but praise from the dairy farmers that we cut for , so its not a fair comparrision to say that all wagon silage is chopped badly , wagon silage when made right will produce the best possible silage that can be made , that is the feedback that Im getting and the proof is that my acerage is going up every year , I also know several contractors running wagon outfits who are expanding every year while the sp outfits are losing work. As a man who has run both outfits I can say that I know the differance in how both silages have turned out, and when I bought the 2 wagons for the first year I kept the 860 in case the wagons didnt work out , after the first winter feedind season was over I surveyed the customers and they all told be to sell the sp as they wanted to stay with the better silage that the wagons had made .

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by James d geoghegan View Post
    what wagon had you , I think these farmer sized machines have not got enough knives to chop grass enough to make top class silage suitable for big dairy cows , the grass needs needs to be chopped very well but not mashed as a lot of the sp harvesters do , we keep our knives sharp and keep the wagons in top class condition but I have seen other wagon contractors and farmers chopping very badly and this stuff is hard handled and gives wagons a bad name , ploughman 1963 and I run the same wagons and we have nothing but praise from the dairy farmers that we cut for , so its not a fair comparrision to say that all wagon silage is chopped badly , wagon silage when made right will produce the best possible silage that can be made , that is the feedback that Im getting and the proof is that my acerage is going up every year , I also know several contractors running wagon outfits who are expanding every year while the sp outfits are losing work. As a man who has run both outfits I can say that I know the differance in how both silages have turned out, and when I bought the 2 wagons for the first year I kept the 860 in case the wagons didnt work out , after the first winter feedind season was over I surveyed the customers and they all told be to sell the sp as they wanted to stay with the better silage that the wagons had made .
    I do find it amusing that you write off all Spfh as regards silage quality yet condemn others if they dare critisise a wagon. Two things contribute to good silage imo the grass, and the ensiling. Neither of which should be dictated to by a wagon or a Spfh.
    When i left school worked on a high input/high output dairy farm. Ended up with 3 units 6 miles apart, 1200 head of stock. Input was maximised, 4 cuts, 1st week of may, 2nd week of june, 1st week of august, 4th week of september or 1st week of october. Up to 700ac of first cut. Had to be done within 6 days to maximise grass quality. 80% of silage ground was in 2/3 year leys. The worst silage we could have was 2/3 cut that was stalky due to lateness of cut (weather) and too dry. (25%+) because you couldn't get enough into the cows to get the output.

    I hate to think how many wagons would have been needed to do that job, but as it took a Sp and between 4-8 trailers to achieve the daily acreage i guess a lot. So there are different systems that are quite happy with a Spfh.
    Oh and how do the wagons cope with the maize and wholecrop that is part of a well balanced diet?

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by prongy View Post
    I do find it amusing that you write off all Spfh as regards silage quality yet condemn others if they dare critisise a wagon. Two things contribute to good silage imo the grass, and the ensiling. Neither of which should be dictated to by a wagon or a Spfh.
    When i left school worked on a high input/high output dairy farm. Ended up with 3 units 6 miles apart, 1200 head of stock. Input was maximised, 4 cuts, 1st week of may, 2nd week of june, 1st week of august, 4th week of september or 1st week of october. Up to 700ac of first cut. Had to be done within 6 days to maximise grass quality. 80% of silage ground was in 2/3 year leys. The worst silage we could have was 2/3 cut that was stalky due to lateness of cut (weather) and too dry. (25%+) because you couldn't get enough into the cows to get the output.

    I hate to think how many wagons would have been needed to do that job, but as it took a Sp and between 4-8 trailers to achieve the daily acreage i guess a lot. So there are different systems that are quite happy with a Spfh.
    Oh and how do the wagons cope with the maize and wholecrop that is part of a well balanced diet?
    He is simply telling you how it is for him,he isn't commenting on you! No need to argue about it,grow up a little.

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    If you do go down the forage wagon route, go for the one with the most knives because there are wagons, and then there are wagons. We wouldnt dream of going back to a precision chop machine, it just doesnt stack up unless you are doing long hauls obviously.

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by wastedyears View Post
    He is simply telling you how it is for him,he isn't commenting on you! No need to argue about it,grow up a little.
    If or when i need any advice on growing up, i won't bother taking any advice from you.

    He is Slagging off a method of forage conservation that many are perfectly happy with. Just offering a different view point. Have you got anything relevent to add to the debate?? or is your user name apt?

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    Re: Wagon V forager

    Quote Originally Posted by prongy View Post
    I do find it amusing that you write off all Spfh as regards silage quality yet condemn others if they dare critisise a wagon. Two things contribute to good silage imo the grass, and the ensiling. Neither of which should be dictated to by a wagon or a Spfh.
    When i left school worked on a high input/high output dairy farm. Ended up with 3 units 6 miles apart, 1200 head of stock. Input was maximised, 4 cuts, 1st week of may, 2nd week of june, 1st week of august, 4th week of september or 1st week of october. Up to 700ac of first cut. Had to be done within 6 days to maximise grass quality. 80% of silage ground was in 2/3 year leys. The worst silage we could have was 2/3 cut that was stalky due to lateness of cut (weather) and too dry. (25%+) because you couldn't get enough into the cows to get the output.

    I hate to think how many wagons would have been needed to do that job, but as it took a Sp and between 4-8 trailers to achieve the daily acreage i guess a lot. So there are different systems that are quite happy with a Spfh.
    Oh and how do the wagons cope with the maize and wholecrop that is part of a well balanced diet?
    Re job size and distance. The argument that wagons cant do distance jobs does not stack up. Yes one wagon on a distance job is a waste of time but add in two, three or even four wagons and they can each do as much as 2 medium sized trailers- so no difference. most farms have close-by fields so one wagon working on close-by field and two wagons on distance work can give most pits more than enough to do. One customer that we do is using us with the wagons to do the distance work whilst using his small spfh to do the close-by stuff as he recons the wagons dont get in each others way as much as a fleet of 8-10 trailers do. Yes cost then comes into it but as we charge by the acre there is again no difference- for wagon operators that charge by the hour then that hourly rate needs adjusted to take into account that maybe only 10% of the time is spent chopping and the rest is basically just crop haulage.
    As far as maize/wholecrop etc goes- nobody is suggesting that wagons are going to do away with spfh and in many areas maize is now the main crop so spfh will dominate but in certain areas 90% of farmers grow grass only and for them wagons are a great option.
    We only started with wagons last year but all i can say is that regardless of grass type, herd size all are very happy & have rebooked for 1st cut this year plus additional bookings for 800acres so dm intake has not been an issue.

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