When it comes to supplementary feed and forage crops for New Zealand dairy farms, grass & maize silage is king.
Alternatives such as fodder beet and palm kernel expeller (PKE) have found a place but come with limitations. Fodder beet for example, needs to be transitioned to stock just right, otherwise you put them in danger. And PKE, there are fears that feeding out too much of it could affect milk fat composition and also harm the New Zealand dairy industry’s grass-fed image.
So when it comes time for the all-important winter feedout, there is no good replacement for grass silage - and no good replacement for gear you can trust to get the work done as quickly and easily as possible.
The equipment you use needs to be right for the job, able to handle the workload without breakdowns and make the whole process more efficient.
Ticking all these boxes is Rata's range of silage forks, buckets and grabs, which we introduce to you in this blog.
The Rata Silage Grab
The Rata Silage Grab is the most popular in the range as its combination of cost and large capacity make it the most economical way of handling silage from the pit to the wagon/feedout trailer. It's also an excellent tool for cleaning up hedge trimmings and the like in warmer months too.
See what Dan Jackson from Rakaia had to say about his Silage Grab!
The silage grab handles large quantities fast, and is strong enough to pick up a car: Watch it do it here
The Rata Bucket Grab
If your farming operation makes a lot of use of maize silage, the Rata Bucket Grab is the way to go. The feed is securely held inside the bucket, whereas with other tools like a grab or fork, loose maize silage can fall between the tines.
The bucket grab can also be used to scoop up residual feed on the pit floor or feed area, ensuring every bit of silage & feed is utilised. Another big advantage of the bucket grab is that it can be used as a standard bucket for other applications.
Rata Bucket Grab scooping up left over feed at a Goat Farm to be utilised later
Another handling option for maize silage is to put extra tines in the base of a silage or shear grab to close up the gaps. This gives you the flexibility to use the grab for both grass and maize silage as the extra tines retain the finer-chopped maize.
The silage grab and bucket grab are only part of Rata’s range of specialist silage-handling attachments. If you have a small operation or a lifestyle property, the rugged and simple silage fork will get the job done and last a lifetime at minimal cost.
The Rata Shear Grab
The Rata Shear Grab is top of the range equipment. It features a serrated cutting edge that ensures the face of the silage stack is left clean and sealed, preventing secondary fermentation and degradation of the silage, reducing wastage. For very large operators feeding out heaps of silage, the savings made from this reduction in waste justify the extra capital outlay.
A bucket insert is available for handling maize silage.
Of all the grabs for sale in New Zealand, the Rata Silage Grab is the most popular & best value for money. Its design means it can handle large quantities of silage while at the same time leaving the stack or pit face clean, reducing the risk of degradation. To find out more, click here.