A quantum leap for haymaking excellence

The Azienda Agricola Manfredi is a professional, family-run operation, growing fodder for dairy cows. As of 2021, it replaced its entire haymaking fleet with KUHN equipment.

Manfredi Testimonial fienagione

A professional approach to agriculture produces clear results and is deeply satisfying

This is the case for the Azienda Agricola Manfredi, at Colombaia, 400 metres above sea level in the Piacenza hills, where generations of the Manfredi family have grown fodder for feeding the dairy cows reared in their barns. Today, this herd counts 120 cows, 100 dairy and 20 dry cows, plus 150 heifers and replacement stock. The Azienda Manfredi has pursued the same vocation since 1967, when the first loose housing was built: to create the ideal conditions for animal welfare, to produce high quality milk.

Organic production

2009 marked a strategic turning point for the Piacenza-based company with its switch to organic farming

‘Organic farming’, says Giovanni Manfredi has entirely changed our working philosophy, and improved the management of the herd. The results were clear within a few years, when we noticed that on entering the cowshed in the morning, many problems had just disappeared: the animals were always in excellent health and the milk was of much higher quality.

Mucche Testimonial Manfredi

Today, 13 years later, satisfaction has increased: the Azienda Manfredi has moved on, winning certifications not only for Organic, but also for 'Biodynamics' and 'Dairy-Hay', and further improving the well-being of the animals, which are now free to go outside in large enclosures.

High-quality fresh milk

This results in production of very high-quality milk, with its unique characteristics due to the fact that 80% of the animal feed is hay, much of which is produced directly on the farm.

Some of the milk is marketed as fresh milk in the Piacenza area through specific distributors, known as Bancolats, where fresh raw milk can be purchased every day. The remaining milk is delivered to a dairy where it is processed into other products, such as yoghurt and kefir.

GA Testimonial Manfredi

The idea of the Bancolats is to promote our mountain milk, with its very special characteristic, says Thomas, Giovanni's eldest son, whose strong innovative spirit contributes to the company's development.

But what is the company's secret for producing such good milk?

The secret is in the hay,  Thomas replies. When the animals are fed a high-quality product, the quality of the milk is also high. The crop from our land, 100 hectares, almost all alfalfa,  he continues, is treated with the utmost care, so that as well as being healthy, it retains its best nutritional characteristics.

GF Testimonial Manfredi

A complete package

To do this, Manfredi recently decided to renew its own fleet of machines, purchasing the very latest complete haymaking package from KUHN: the FC 3125 DF-FF front mower-conditioner and FC 3115 DF-FF rear mower-conditioner, the GMD 240 FF rear mower, the GF 8712 T rotary tedder with a working width of 8.70 metres, and the GA 7530 7.50 metre rotary rake.

We had been using KUHN equipment for a long time already for haymaking, says Thomas, so after much thought, we chose to stay with this brand which, in addition to ensuring really high-quality work, is supported by the Terrepadane Agricultural Consortium in the area

Negotiations took time, adds Giovanni, but when the KUHN technicians took us through each machine, explaining all the technological innovations introduced on the various models and their practical benefits, we no longer hesitated. All these machines are extremely productive, with excellent stability on our soils, which are characterised by many variations in slope and level. 

FC tripla Testimonial Manfredi

The quantum leap

There is a world of difference with the innovations introduced by the new equipment compared to what we had before,' Thomas adds. ‘In just a few years, KUHN has made an amazing leap forward in quality, for instance with the rotary hay tedder, now much more robust and suitable for work in difficult conditions, the cutter bars are more efficient, the equipment is perfectly stable even on the steepest slopes, while the flail conditioners have solved all the problems associated with the rotary technology, caused in particular by our very stony soils.

Another aspect is productivity, observes Thomas, which is truly exceptional with these machines, even for difficult types of fodder, speeding up work without compromising on product quality, crucial for us. Hay is the top feed on our farm’, he concludes. ‘The cows need good quality hay and KUHN equipment allows us to produce it, handling it at the right time and with respect