"Ole Blue" is back. That’s the message being preached by CST Industries, manufacturers of Harvestore and Slurrystore as they introduce new products, with more poised to hit the market next year, and rebuilding kits to upgrade existing systems.
CST purchased Engineered Storage Products Company, Harvestore’s parent, from A.O. Smith four years ago, because it believed in the system and was convinced that it could be brought back to the forefront of dairying, John Garnett, its director of marketing and business development told a gathering of dairy producers at Wisconsin’s Farm Technology Days this summer.
Garnett admitted that it’s going to be a tough slog to convince a new generation of dairy producers that Harvestore is "not your father’s technology" but that it is a company that has adapted to the changing face of dairying and can engineer a turnaround in its fortunes as Chrysler did in the 1980s and Harley-Davison did in the 1990s.
Using Wisconsin - "America’s Dairyland" as the state’s licence plates proclaim - as an example, Garnett said that herds had consolidated and free stall barns and large milking parlours became the industry norm. Harvestore no longer fit into plans, he said, as the storage system didn’t seem as attractive as concrete bunkers or bags.
"Well, I am here today to tell you that ‘Ole Blue’ has got a new lease on life. I am here today to deliver a message: ‘Harvestore is back!’ We’re investing in making Harvestore once again the heart of dairy nutrition.
The new breed of dairyman saw eh Harvestore as too slow to load and unload, Garnett said, a situation that is being addressed by the introduction of the new Alliance unloader and next year with the XL unloaders, which, according to Henk Huizenga of Ottawa Valley Harvestore Systems in Kemptville, will handle 400 lbs. per minute.
"Today we can load and unload just as fast as a farmer using bags or bunkers," Garnett said, adding that Harvestore’s technology "still beats concrete bunkers and bags for maintaining feed quality". He said there is a lot of labour with bags and bunkers and a good deal of a crop is lost due to spoilage or shrinkage. Harvestores may have a higher initial cost but over their lifespan their value beats bags and bunkers, Garnett said.
In the coming year CST Industries plans to unveil its new XL unloaders; conduct new research into stored forage and milk quality; improve parts quality and dealer personnel training; introduce financing plans; establish partnerships and relations with dairy nutritionists and consultants at all levels of the industry; expanding its dealer network and launch the "New Harvestore - back on the Horizon" program.
Ottawa Valley Harvestore can be reached at 1-800-267-7940.