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Kubota’s M9960 proving the right buy for goat farmer

Juergen Marl and his wife Claudia run Barba Goat Farm near Collinstown. Originally from Germany but farming in Ireland for the past 27 years, the farm extends to 500 acres in the Barbavilla Estate and is home to 350 milking goats but the Marls have plans to increase the herd to 500.

“Last year I was looking for a tractor on the farm to operate the diet feeder we use to feed the goats,” said Juergen. “Originally, I was searching for a used tractor but I was finding them rather expensive and I wasn’t too sure about their source or service history.

“I happened to call into the Clarkes of Cavan Kubota dealership to have a look around and ended up purchasing a new Kubota M9960 tractor with a Kubota LA1354 front end power loader attached.”

Juergen made his Kubota purchase as he was really impressed with the competitive price and the attractive warranty, which also influenced his buying decision.

“The three year warranty extended to five years on the Kubota M9960, coupled with the keen price made buying this tractor new make more sense than buying a second hand tractor,” added Juergen.

“The tractor is very compact in stature yet spacious inside the cab which makes it very easy to operate along the feeding passage when dispensing silage to the goats. We use a JF Stoll VMR tub feeder to mix up hay and silage to feed the goats twice per day.

“I opted to purchase a Kubota power loader with the tractor as well. I use another tractor and loader to fill the feeder but I decided a second loader would also be useful at silage time to cart and stack the round bales.”

As well as using his Kubota M9960 tractor on the diet feeder in the winter time, Juergen uses it to move round bales and operate the grass tedder at silage time.

Barba Goat Farm sends its milk to a number of different outlets to be processed into milk and cheese. While Juergen is in charge of the machinery on the farm, it is his wife Claudia that looks after the goats and milking them.

“This current herd has been in production for the past four years and consists of Toggenburg, Nubian, Alpine and Saanen breeds,” said Claudia. “We produce around 600 litres of fresh milk per day and receive 70 euro cents per litre from the processor.

“Goats are milked at 7am and later again at 5pm in our Fullwood rapid exit parlour which can milk 40 goats at once. There is currently a good demand for goat milk and cheese and that demand is on the increase. With that in mind, we are planning to increase the herd to 500 milking goats sometime in the near future,” she said.

Juergen’s Kubota M9960 is powered by a Kubota common rail four cylinder turbo engine and fitted with a 36 forward and 36 reverse transmission which can reach a maximum forward speed of 40km per hour.
These gear ratios on the M9960 are achieved by a mechanical six-speed gearbox and a reduction box that offers three speeds as standard.
In each of the six main speeds, the operator can select one additional power shift without engaging the clutch.

The manufacturers say with an excellent power to weight ratio and a maximal load capacity of up to 3800 kg, this tractor is best suited for use on grassland farms, or as an on-farm tractor with front-loader use, and for soil cultivation.

“Visibility from the cab is superb,” said Juergen. “It also has a very comfortable operating space within the cab. This makes using the loader very handy and safe. What I like mostly about this Kubota M9960 tractor is the small radius turning circle and the fact that it does not have too many electronics. It really is a super little tractor and one that does everything I ask of it around the farm.”

Juergen’s Kubota M9960 currently has around 650 hours on the clock but it is a long-term investment for the farm. “With regular servicing, we aim to keep this Kubota for a long time,” he said. “I am really happy with how it has performed for us so far.”

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