Dr. Alan Vaage
The objective of feeding a total mixed ration (TMR) is to provide a consistently uniform mix with the intended ingredient and nutrient composition, across the entire length of the feedbunk, with every batch. The scale system on the TMR mixer determines whether the correct amount of each ingredient is added to the mixer, yet its operation and accuracy is often taken for granted. In this issue, we will describe how the TMR mixer scale system can be a source of error in TMR production, and present some simple tests you can perform to determine its sensitivity and accuracy.
Go to any farm equipment show, or “surf” the internet, and you will see there are a wide range of makes and models of TMR mixer on the market today, which can make selecting the right one for you a bit confusing. In this issue we will look at the origin and key differences between the two main classifications of mixers that are available today, namely, Horizontal and Vertical mixers.
HORIZONTAL TMR MIXERS
When this column started, we encouraged our readers to forward their comments, questions and suggestions for topics to us by email at the address given at the end of the column. We thank you for the communications received to date, to which we reply directly. Starting with this issue, we will occasionally share with you an expanded response that was inspired by a noteworthy question.