A day in the life of ...Four families in Germany tell their story. Find out how farmers and contractors achieve more success with PÖTTINGER. The first family in this series runs a contractor business and a dairy farm in Northrhein Westfalia.
The Eichhorn Family
Cattle breeders and contractors, Schluchsee | Germany
Idyllic landscape, happy cattle, contented people and high performance technology - and all on Martin Eichhorn’s farm. Here, the whole family is involved in making things happen.
The farm has 34 hectares of grassland and specialises in breeding suckler cows. As contractors, their machinery is in action all over the southern area of the beautiful Black Forest region.
The new NOVACAT A10 mower combination and a NOVADISC 900 cut around 300 hectares per year and they cover around 1,000 hectares with their four loader wagons. “The loader wagons are reliable and powerful. They need to be pretty resilient in the Black Forest,” says Eichhorn, confirming the robust construction of the machines:”Our customers appreciate what we do”. You get a real sense of the pride he has in his work.
Quality is very important in terms of working results, but also when it comes to spare parts. That they are always readily available is an additional advantage. When they place their winter order they go for whole sets of knives and blades. Eichhorn is committed to original quality when it comes to spare parts: “I don’t want to have anything to do with copies! We prefer to invest a little bit more to get the right quality”.
The harmonious way of living on the farm is reflected in their attitude towards their livestock: “It is awe inspiring to see how the calves are born and the develop.” Success and failure go hand-in-hand when it comes to cattle breeding, says the farmer, as with so many things in life. Once everything turns out fine at the end of the year, then everybody is happy. Although several members of the family have other jobs, they meet every day to sit together and help out because they all love living and working on the farm.
The 85-year-old grandmother is still “as sprightly as a deer”, is how they fondly describe Lisa Eichhorn. She helps out, cooks for everyone, bakes cakes and loves gardening. That she also makes sure that the show is kept on the road from behind the scenes is something that the head of the family is not so keen to hear, explains the highly amused daughter. Lisa Eichhorn has a love and joy for life. She is a die-hard family person and very much enjoys living in the Black Forest.
The happy farm lady thrives on a harmonious family life and an enthusiasm for farming. “I could never move into a city; the landscape is far too beautiful to leave behind,” she enthuses.
"I don’t want to have anything to do with copies! We prefer to invest a little bit more to get the right quality.“
A wide range of products at the Eichhorn farm:
Best ground adaptation - 2.62 to 3.46 m working width
Power requirement 160 to 300 hp - volume 30.5 to 35 m³
The Thelen Family
Contractor and dairy farmer, Kall | Germany
Hans-Willi Thelen (TPS Contractors). Together with his family, he operates a contractor business and a farm with 150 diary cattle under organic management. With PÖTTINGER machinery he creates quality time for other things, enjoys his work and offers the best forage quality and operational reliability.
The Thelen Family talk about their life running a successful organic dairy farm and contractor business and the role played by the right technology: Hans-Willi, the father, operates the contractor firm while his son Martin manages the organic dairy farm with 150 dairy cattle.
The farm is located at 150 metres above sea level on the edge of the northern Eifel and is entirely dedicated to permanent grassland. They have almost none of their own machines. The contractor TPS, in which Thelen has a one-third share, takes care of the grass forage harvest. With the help of two employees, they also provide contractor services to other customers to keep the business profitable. Three JUMBO COMBILINE loader wagons harvest around 1,000 loads of silage and transport 200 loads of harvested grass and maize. The TOP 1252 four-rotor rake handles 1700 hectares per year.
The high output of the machines and the very high base forage quality are especially important for the organic farm. "When all the parameters are right, we obtain around 10,000 litres of milk per day on average", explains Hans-Willi Thelen enthusiastically. You immediately notice that the animals are the most important factor for the dedicated organic farmer, because as Thelen says, it is the livestock that achieve the output to ensure success: "It is extremely satisfying to work with the animals and manage the herd", he says. Several awards and the positive business figures give him a good feeling and are the reward for his enthusiasm in what he does.
For Hans-Willi Thelen it is the chopping quality of the PÖTTINGER loader wagon that is the most important factor, especially for compaction in the clamp. "If silage is produced with a high energy content and lots of nutrients, then this makes a significant contribution to increasing quality and improving milk yield", explains the contractor confidently. This is also important for financial success, but not just on their own farm. In addition to the organic dairy farm, highly satisfactory contract services are also provided to other customers. "If you bring a PÖTTINGER loader wagon, then I don't need a harvester any more," is something that Thelen has often heard from customers who previously used a harvester to chop their forage. That pleases him even more. After all, the operational reliability of the machines and the excellent service gives the Thelens more time for what matters, which is time for the family.
Father and son look back on a successful working day and are satisfied with the result.
The machines are also very much appreciated by the customer. One customer who used to use forage harvesters said quite clearly: "If you bring a PÖTTINGER loader wagon, then I don't need a harvester any more."“