From one generation to another
Specialist dairy farm
The Mehle family farm in Ponova vas, near Grosuplje in the Dolenjska region has their main focus on dairy farming. The farm has 150 head of Holstein cattle, half of which are dairy cows, who produce up to 700,000 litres of milk a year. Most of the milk produced is sent to a nearby Dairy , and some is processed into products for domestic use. The other half consists of young cattle which are fattened for meat. When ready the young cattle are sold on the market. On a total of 60 hectares of land, they produce wheat and silage mainly for their own usage, with seasonal surpluses sold on the market or stored for possible poor harvests.
The farmer, Franc Mehle, took over the farm – known locally as the Možina farm – from his father, Franc Sr., when he came of age. He was determined not only to continue with the business, but to upgrade it and ensure that it would keep growing. He succeeded in that, and today he runs a modern family farm on solid foundations. Just recently the farm gained a new person behind the wheel, his third generation son, Franc Jr. He represents a new generation of farmers. He sees farming as a business, which, despite many challenges and unpredictable conditions, must provide a comfortable and financially secure life, and, so far, he is succeeding.
Three generations – one love
All three generations of the family are responsible for this success story, as they do all the work on the farm themselves. “I have been connected to the farm in one way or another for as long as I can remember. First I helped my parents, now I'm a young entrepreneur in charge of the farm,” says Franc Jr. “We all do our part, from my parents to my wife and three children. The family also takes all the important decisions together,” he adds, as farming is not just a profession for them, but more of a passion and a way of life. “I love my job because I can be in nature every day with the animals, and because I create everything with my family,” he adds. The farm not only has machine milking and automated processes in the barn, but also all the cultivation of the fields is carried out with modern farm machinery.
He expected a lot and got a lot
At the beginning of the year, the Mehle’s invested successfully in a new up-todate machine – a Farmtech Ultracis 1200 steel slurry tanker with a 12-metre slurry distributing system. The young owner first laid eyes on it two years ago at a Trade Fair in Gornja Radgona – but he wanted to test the tanker before he bought it and his request was granted. He was convinced by the 8,000 litre Supercis 800 test tanker, but it needed to be a more powerful and tandem version due to the partly hilly terrain. So the Mehle’s became the first buyers of a 12,000 litre Ultracis 1200 tandem tanker in Slovenia, and have already completed more than 200 trips in six months. “The tanker provides the ideal balance of performance and robustness, it offers a good and safe driving feel, and the operation is simple and transparent,” says Franc Jr., who is delighted to have got what he expected.
For future generations
Of course, the Mehle family took the sustainability into account when purchasing, knowing that nitrogen losses with such a tank and system are much lower than with a normal sprayer, and that the spread of smell into the surrounding area is also reduced significantly. “The low-discharge tanker allows me to discharge the slurry evenly and accurately,” says Franc Jr. “The best thing is that the slurry can be distributed right up to the border of the fields,” points out Father Franc, who is aware of the importance of spreading the fertiliser over the whole cultivated area. “It also smells a lot less,” he adds proudly. Franc Jr. has one more wish. “As we are increasingly using assist systems on tractors, we are going to upgrade the tanker with an ISOBUS terminal, which was not yet available when we bought it.” Today, ISOBUS is available for all Farmtech tankers.
Satisfaction and optimism
We asked them about their bad experiences with the tanker. “Even with minor annoyances with the chopper on the slurry tanker, Farmtech's service has been responsive, the problems rectified quickly and the support is impeccable. Once we got that sorted out, there were no more problems,” points out Franc Jr., who, despite the new product, has no doubts about the Farmtech brand, as it is not his first and only machinery. In the domestic fleet, he can boast with the versatile and individually configured TDK 1500 tandem trailer with third extension boards, which is used on the farm for a wide variety of transport. The Mehle’s are looking forward to the future development of the farm, but do not expect or wish for further expansion at the moment. They will continue to purchase modern agricultural machinery, which is their working tool. “We are planning to buy a new tandem trailer for construction purposes soon,” concludes Franc Jr. with a smile.