Morrinsville farmer Geoff Irwin operates Irwin Farms, a system 5 operation milking 340 cows. Having a desire to lift farm production in 2016 but unable to purchase any surrounding land, the decision was made to intensify operations and move from a traditional grass-fed model to a herd home utilising a Keenan MechFiber360 mixer wagon.
While other mixer options were considered in the early stages of the transition, the Keenan wagon came out on top due to its robust build, remarkedly simple functionality, the emphasis placed by Keenan on the nutritional science aspects and the consistent results that could be achieved.
Geoff says, "I was instantly impressed with how easy the mixer wagon was to operate. The control box makes it easy to adjust the ratios to each herd group and the Keenan technology ensures there is a set number of rotations, so the feed is never overmixed. The bathtub design of the wagon allows for water to be easily added making the mix more palatable and ensuring the whole herd stay hydrated. This coupled with the mixer wagon's ability to consistently deliver all the vitamins and minerals our herd need, whilst minimising feed wastage, has played a vital role in the successful transition of our farming model."
7 years on Geoff says his feed conversion efficiency speaks for itself. "The figures stack up. Having previously been producing 1kg of milk solids per 10kg of dry matter, we are now achieving the same results on 9kg of dry matter."
"A big benefit for us since moving to a mixer wagon has been the access Keenan provide to nutritionists both locally and around the world. With real time reports and recommendations, I'm able to make tweaks and adjustments to achieve the best feed conversion and optimum herd health. What worked last season might not necessarily work this season so having that support and data to back it up has been invaluable".
When asked if he would recommend a Keenan mixer wagon to other farmers, Geoff said, "I already have! My neighbour was finding he was wasting maize and his side feed out wagon wasn't efficient. I recommended the Keenan wagon because I knew it could deliver the consistent feed he was after, and the reporting and nutritional support would be a huge benefit to him. The backup support and reliability of Keenan and their machines have made our mixer wagon a valuable tool which I can't see us replacing for 20 years or more".