Tests carried out by the University of Milan confirm the benefits of the new double-star hay rake. Repossi Macchine Agricole has been designing and producing rakes for over a century and Ra-Rake is their latest revolution; thanks to it the company obtained a prestigious Horizon 2020 grant, devised by the European Union to promote and support innovation, research and technological development; thanks to it, any user could have great economic benefits.
Ra-Rake is a simple machine but is revolutionary in its simplicity. It provides the speed of the wheel rake technology without the negative consequences on the forage.
It is equipped with two working wheels of different diameters: the larger one does not touch the forage but has the only task of moving the second star, which is smaller and moves the forage without polluting it with stones and dirt. This permits to obtain a cleaner forage.
In economic terms, this has a significant productivity impact. In fact, the increase in the quantity of milk produced, equal to 1.76 lb per day per cow, involves an annual increase of 160,600 lb or about +25,700 USD (if the price of milk was 0.16 USD/lb).
The impact, of course, increases for larger farm sizes, but even for a small farm the higher revenues are interesting. Since there is no increase in farm costs, the greater income is equivalent to bigger profits.
The tests, carried out by the team coordinated by Prof. Luca Rapetti, head of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Milan, exceed expectations: forage harvested with Ra-Rake generates an average increase in ash content which is 66% lower than the one harvested with other types of machinery.
This is very important because high levels of ash in forage are troublesome: external ashes (soil, stones, debris) do not provide any nutritional value but rather deteriorate its features and increases the risk of pollution with spores and bacteria. Moreover, if the animal swallows too much ash, milk quality and quantity can be impacted. Davide Reginelli (Experimental University Farm) is convinced about that:”…if the product is better from a nutritional point of view and the protein content is higher, for the same amount of food the mixture is richer in digestible fibre, so the cow responds better by ruminating and produces more milk”. And:
“The higher the forage quality, the better the animals’ response and therefore the lower the food cost. moreover, if welfare is higher, (the) animal performs better also in terms of reproduction.“
says Davide Reginelli, head of the Angelo Menozzi – Landriano (Pv) Educational and Experimental University Farm.
According to the experts, forage protein value has a remarkable impact not only on the quality level of production (milk and meat) but even on the income statement of the farm. Indeed, the harvesting of forage for animal breeding—in particular, dairy and beef cattle—is now becoming a strategic activity for every well-organized farm. And, as every modern farmer knows, forage quality is highly impacted by all phases of harvesting, especially raking.
Moreover, Ra-Rake has other remakable features. It allows to work faster: you can run in the field at a speed of up to 12.5 mph and still respect the environment. During their entire life cycle Ra-Rake consumes 20% fewer environmental resources compared to other machines.
The economic impact, added to the other benefits of the machine, confirms that Ra-Rake is a very good investment, as its inventor Gabriele Repossi affirms:
“it is the star among star-wheel rakes!”
More about Repossi Macchine Agricole
The company designs and manufactures agricultural machinery, in particular for haymaking (raking) and breeding. Founded in 1898 and now in its fourth generation, it looks to the future thanks to innovative and patented solutions, including the RA-Rake double star rake, which in 2017 received Horizon 2020 funding from the European Commission.