Only wet weather stops Kyabram dairy farmer Andrew Newnham from growing silage on the 1100ha he owns as well as leases out.
Mr Newnham is hopeful of milking 900 cows this year and predominately grows wheat and vetch.
‘‘We grow 700ha of wheat and vetch, 120ha of lucerne and this year we will probably grow 80 to 100ha of maize,’’ he said.
When it comes to lucerne, Mr Newnham harvests it year round.
‘‘We cut and carry lucerne all year round. Sixteen tonne a day of fresh lucerne goes into the cows,’’ he said.
‘‘The only thing that stops cut and carry is rain. We don’t worry about heat or cold. If the paddock is too wet to get on, we can’t do anything.’’
The year-long silage-making process allows Mr Newnham to make enough feed for his cattle, including the 250 calves as well as 250 heifers.
‘‘For the year, we probably get 4500 wet tonnes of wheat and vetch ...18 to 20 tonnes of dry matter lucerne per year and 19 tonne of dry matter maize, which is standard,’’ he said.
Mr Newnham is able to keep the farm going with the help of his family as well as New Holland machinery from Rural Group’s Echuca and Shepparton branches.
‘‘We’ve always been with them (Rural Group) and Chris (director Chris Pettigrove).
‘‘I enjoy their service and their ability to adapt when it’s tough.’’
According to Mr Newnham, the greatest efficiency of his two tractors — the T7.325 and the T6030 — is the GPS or auto-command function.
‘‘Both tractors now have GPS. This saves time as we don’t have overlap.
‘‘Both also have 50km/h boxes which is handy for cut and carry because it improves speed and distance.
‘‘Most tractors have a top speed of 30km/h but the newer ones are up to 50km/h.’’
With the machinery used year-round, Mr Newnham said comfort was also important.
‘‘The T7.235 does about 1500 hours a year, and the T6030 is four years old and does about 1000 hours a year. The loader wagon does at least two loads a day for 300 days a year.’’