"Boils Down To The Bottom Dollar"
Billy Howard lives near Albion, OK where he farms over 300 acres of ryegrass, sorghum-sudan and alfalfa to feed to his commercial cattle herd. His operation is located in Pushmataha County below the Kiamichi Mountains next to the Kiamichi River. Howard has put a lot of work into his once forest covered land by clearing trees and planting a hay crop. In this location having too much moisture can be a serious challenge. Howard switched to producing silage last year with the purchase of his Krone Comprima CV 150 XC baler wrapper combination and SW 800 rotary rake. Baling enough quality silage to feed his cattle operation is a top priority. His proper land management practices, such as using irrigation when needed and moisture testing his crop multiple times before baling, allow him to produce up to 5 cuttings a year. This produces enough silage to feed his cattle all winter.
Howard is one of the first producers in his area to switch to baling silage. Changing to a silage baler can be expensive, but Howard said he could justify the cost. “When you compare producing 80 bales weighing 800 pounds each with a conventional baler to producing 80 silage bales weighing 1350-1400 pounds each with a Krone baler, the overall gain is 32% more feed,” stated Howard. With the Comprima CV 150 XC baler wrapper combination producers can bale dense silage bales and wrap the bales immediately after baling to keep a quality product all year long. The bales are denser and heavier when compared to dry hay bales due to higher moisture content and the unique Novogrip belt and metal slat elevator that has the ability to compress more material in the bale. For Howard, the benefits he receives from the Comprima baler in forage quality, quantity, time and labor justify the cost.
When asked why Howard switched to a Comprima instead of a conventional baler he stated, “it boils down to the bottom dollar. I had $80,000 worth of hay on the ground that would never be dry in time to make dry hay because of our climate and ground temperature.” Producers are often at the mercy of the weather forecast with traditional balers, but with Krone’s Comprima round baler wrapper combination producers can continue baling in more diverse conditions. To make quality silage Howard must bale at a higher moisture level around 55% to 62%. Once the crop is baled and wrapped, the bales are stored at the field until Howard is ready to move them to feed. Feeding neatly packaged silage bales saves him time and money as he has less field time, less waste in harvest and storage, less waste from the cattle due to palatability and a uniform product. Howard can now have fall calves due to the added nutritional value they gain from the silage, availability of quality feed and the weight gained from the silage during the winter.
The capacity of the pick-up on the Comprima CV 150 XC is one of Howard’s favorite feature. The EasyFlow pick up is wide enough to pick up heavier swaths, operates at a 30% higher speed than a cammed pick up and able to pick up a wide variety of crops from dry to wet with its 5 rows of tines. During one of Howard’s best working days in the field he baled 150 bales in 4 hours. The variable chamber lets a producer determine the bale size that is optimal for their operation. The Novogrip belt and metal slat design in the bale chamber provide excellent bale rotation and density. Howard produces 4 X 4 bales that weigh 1350-1400 pounds, which is what he prefers, so they are easy to transport. The Comprima CV 150 XC wrapper combination is a dependable baler that will cut down on feeding waste, time and labor while still producing a high quality product.
Being able to depend on a quality dealership is important to any producer. Howard states, “you have to put faith in your dealership. Gray Brothers in Poteau, OK is one reason why I have the equipment I have.” Howard went on to explain he has had minimal problems with his baler and rake, but Gray Brothers is very helpful when he needs them. Their dependability and support play a major role in what equipment he runs. Krone products provide Howard with the reliability and support that he needs to run his operation efficiently.