Consistency is the key to a good ration mix and it is mainly for this reason that BvL has seen a considerable increase in both demonstrations and sales of high capacity twin and triple-auger mixers over the past year.

It’s 40 years since Bernard van Lengerich Maschinenfabrick (BvL) introduced the first vertical feed mixer wagon to the market, during which time the company has grown to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of diet mixers. Today, the BvL V-MIX range of diet feeders covers a wide range of machines, available in single, twin and triple augers variants and in capacity from 3.5m3 up to 46m3.

Read more: New range of feeding and bedding equipment from PGF Agri

No two farms are the same. Therefore, it’s important that a wide range of specifications and options are available, so that machines can be tailored to meet those requirements.

At the heart of all BvL mixers are powerful mixing augers, with Hardox leading edges and adjustable knives. Twin and triple auger versions incorporate mixing wedges for a thorough and consistent mix, while the patented EDS (Exact Dosing System) discharge ensures an even forage discharge.

Read more: Cattle feeding: JF Hudson's Silo Crab scoops up left-over feed

Large diet feeders can be particularly hard on tractor drive trains, especially when starting and during the early stages of the mix. To reduce load on the tractor and make the V-Mix easier to drive, BvL offers a Powershift gearbox which incorporates a reduction gear with integral hydraulic clutch. This allows the V-Mix to be started in a low gear and for pto speed to be increased under load up to full mixing speed, so reducing strain on the complete drive train.

Options include features such as doors on both the left and right hand side of the feeder for feeding flexibility and even simultaneous discharge to both sides. Additional discharge door options are available, as is a discharge conveyor.

All machines are also suitable for compact TMR, which is attracting considerable interest due to its milk yield benefits. Compact TMR involves the soaking and pre-mixing of dry components of the ration with water. This is then left to soak overnight, after which the rest of the ration mix is then added.

The benefit of this is that it makes it impossible for the dry components of the forage to be separated out from the rest of the mix, either during the feeding out process or by the cow pre-sorting. As a result, every cow is fed a far more consistent ration, resulting in a yield improvement of up to two litres per cow, in addition to potential improvements in milk quality.

Read more: Non-nonsense vertical and MixMax diet feeders from Hi-Spec

The different stresses this causes in the diet mixers, means that in place of the standard mixing augers, the Compact TMR augers fitted in the mixer are not as tall, but are wider and have extended mixing blades, plus an additional auger blade for more intensive mixing. The mixing augers are made using a V2A rust-proof stainless-steel surfacing for durability.

Due to the need to leave the wet mix in the mixer overnight and the extended mixing time, to protect the mixer body this is also faced with V2A rustproof stainless-steel and the augers are fitted with a seal to avoid water ingress to the inside of the auger cone.

Unique to BvL is the availability of special coatings and hardened components for use with more abrasive, higher dry matter rations, making this option particularly suited for beef cattle rations and large dairy herds.