His philosophy is to make up to five cuts each season, to achieve an ME value of 11-plus and dry matter between 28-35%, and challenging weather around the eastern shore of the Menai Strait means taking opportunities when they arise. Using a contractor allows multiple mowers to drop around 260-270 acres of grass in a matter of hours.
As headlands are cut, he immediately follows with a 10-rotor Kverneland 85112 tedder to encourage rapid wilting. “When grass is cut, stomata stay open for up to six hours, and this is where the majority of crop moisture is released,” says dairy farmer Aled, who is also the current president of NFU Cymru. He had been using a smaller tedder, but even with the help of a neighbour’s machine, the two lacked output to take advantage of conditions.
“Additives do help, but there’s no substitute for achieving an optimum dry matter value,” he says. His focus on forage reduces the need for bought-in feeds to maintain Hendy Farm’s 11,000-litre herd average. And after a demonstration of several tedders, it was a contractor’s Kverneland machine that caught his eye. “I was looking for a wellengineered tedder, with strength in all the right places, and good build quality,” he says. “And that’s exactly what a nearby contractor was using.”
Supplied by Mona Tractors, the linkage-mounted 85112 was wide enough to boost output, but compact enough to be carried on the three-point linkage. “With my neighbour’s help, I can set 18 rotors into the crop, to make the most of that open stomata,” he says.