Despite high feed and grain prices, the use of TMR mixers on feeding and cow-calf operations is increasing due to greater returns. To maximize the benefits of a TMR mixer, there are multiple factors to consider. Jeff Jaderborg of the University of MN identified routine maintenance, loading sequence, mixing time, and minimum inclusion rate as essential ingredients to a high quality TMR.
- Remove twine and plastic from around augers.
- Inspect auger knives and kicker plates for wear and fractures.
- Check electronic scales for accuracy (at least annually).
- Ingredients should be loaded in a specific sequence to provide optimal results (see diagram).
- Do not load directly over center screw – small-inclusion ingredients and liquids may not be blended.
- Small batches: make sure ingredients do not stick to side of mixer when loading
- Mixing time varies based on ration ingredients and mixing conditions.
- Best to consult a nutritionist and request a Penn State shaker box test to determine mixing time.
Minimum Inclusion Rate
- Incorporating ingredients at extremely low inclusion rates may impede mixing process.
- Avoid ingredient inclusion at amounts less than five times the scale accuracy.
- Use simple carriers to pre-mix small-inclusion ingredients so they can be properly mixed into the ration.