Farming operations come in many shapes and sizes. Orchards and vineyards can help support niche markets. Cash cropping creates a strong support for the commodity market. No matter the product focus, every farmer usually has a family story behind it. Edelweiss Farms is a dairy owned and operated by the Borer family in Freedom, New York.
The Borer’s began farming in 1961 and since that time have expanded. Today, the second and third generation father and son team, along with their families and thirty employees, milk 2,000 Holstein cows and work 6,000 acres of land. On this land, they grow peas, corn (for both silage and grain purposes), alfalfa, grass, wheat and soybeans.
In 2015, the Borer’s invested in two KUHN Optimer+ 7503 folding compact discs to help them meet their operation’s goal of preparing a better seedbed before planting.
“When we bought the Optimer+, we were looking for a machine that could prepare a good two- to four- inch seedbed for corn after running a manure dragline through it,” said John Borer, General Manager of Edelweiss Dairy. “It certainly helped us achieve our goal.”
The KUHN Optimer+ 7503 trailed stubble cultivator, with independent discs, is the ideal machine for the quality, shallow soil cultivation the Borer’s were looking for. It promotes faster decomposition of organic matter, like manure, and prevents moisture loss in the field. The Optimer+ has many benefits and Borer has taken notice of them when working out in the field.
“It has a simple, straightforward design which helps us in creating a simplified seedbed when planting,” stated Borer.
The Optimer+’s compact design and small overhang can adapt to most tractors. With the machine’s simple adjustments, working depth can be adjusted continuously from one to four inches using an easy-to-access stop screw and a graduated plate. With easy adjustability, Borer has been able to quickly adjust the Optimer+ to the different conditions he finds in each field. This has resulted in significant time savings for the operation.
“In some cases, it saves us an additional trip over the field. Overall though, it saves us approximately 15 to 25 hours total in the spring,” said Borer.
With the Optimer+’s high working speeds, the Borer’s are able to navigate in and out of fields quickly during spring planting in spite of such narrow tillage and planting windows. Although time savings are a major benefit for Borer, easy adjustability of the machine is important to him too.
“With the easy adjustability, we can vary the depth to the conditions to combat things like ruts, soils changes and trash in the field,” explained Borer.
The new arms on the Optimer+ provide increased clearance to the frame. This allows a wider range of use due to increased capacity to handle large quantities of plant residues. Speaking of residues, that’s why Borer choose the T-Liner roller for his two Optimer+ units.
“The T-Liner just seemed to be more of what we needed to cut through the plant residue to help us meet our needs.”
The T-Liner roller comes in a solid-tube design. It performs best in rocky conditions and provides good crumbling for the entire working width of the machine. There are also two other roller options available on the Optimer+: the T-Ring roller (which works well in clay or heavy soil to provide soil firming while maintaining a smooth finish) and the Packliner roller (which operates well in damp conditions).
Borer learned about his Optimer+ 7503 compact disc from his dealer, Lamb & Webster, and decided to purchase two Optimers+ after demoing the machine. Lamb & Webster is located in North Java, New York. The two Optimer+’s are not the only KUHN machines the farm runs. They also have a KUHN Knight 4072 four-auger horizontal TMR mixer.
Borer says the mixer, just like the Optimer+ machines, are simple and easy to operate helping them reach their goals for Edelweiss Farms.