Case Study: Schneider Alfalfa Relies on Delmhorst Moisture Meters for High-Quality Hay Production

Posted by Tom Laurenzi on Feb 2, 2024 9:15:11 AM

Product quality consistency is critical to the success of every company, but maintaining that consistency is an ever-present challenge for business owners and producers. In the hay industry, however, farmers who use Delmhorst's advanced line of moisture meters for hay enjoy the quality management capabilities offered by these easy-to-use, reliable, and accurate meters. Delmhorst designed its FX-20 and FX-30 moisture meters for hay to provide top-of-the-line service, dependable functions, and, in the case of the FX-30, Bluetooth®-enabled technology for every hay producer who wants to keep their customers happy.


The Company: Schneider Alfalfa 

Schneider Alfalfa is a family-owned business that has grown hay products for three generations. According to David Schneider, son of the founder and father of the newest team member, Delmhorst moisture meters for hay have been their go-to quality management tool throughout the company's history. 


The Challenge: The Demand for High Nutritional Value in Hay 

Since its beginning, Schneider Alfalfa has been steadily expanding operations, adding both acreage and customers. In addition to their own crop production, the organization also rakes, bales, stacks, and grinds alfalfa for several other producers. The increased demand adds more work to the operations team and also extends their obligation to ensure high hay quality across all their customers' lands. 
Schneider-managed hay feeds livestock throughout the company's region, and those dairy and meat producers rely on its nutritional value to ensure their products meet the highest industry quality standards. Consequently, protecting that nutritional value from harvest and raking through baling, storage, and transport is also critical to the success of Schneider Alfalfa. Accurate management of moisture content (%MC) throughout those stages is what gives the hay producer its edge over competitors.  


The Solution: Delmhorst’s Industry-Specific Meters

One reason why continued reliance on Delmhorst has paid off is because of what happened when those devices were not in use. Prior to adopting Delmhorst meters, Schneider used manual methods to test %MC, weighing the product before testing, drying it, and then weighing it again. Not only was the process time-consuming, it was also inaccurate. Some of the baled hay developed mold and had to be discarded, costing the company time and money. 


Introducing Delmhorst moisture meters to their operations eliminated the mold concern and reduced the waste caused by obsolete testing methods. Not only were the meters easy to use, but their accuracy far exceeded previous practices. Says Schneider, "Accurate moisture testing is the cornerstone of hay quality control. If it's not done right, it can lead to spoilage and financial losses."


The Results: Increased Quality and Volume

Since embracing the Delmhorst standard, Schneider Alfalfa has seen significant reductions in spoiled hay, increasing its output quality and volume. Schneider is impressed with the consistent reliability of the tool, which is crucial for accurate %MC measurements, especially in wet weather. 


Because hay is so moisture sensitive and its stems and leaves dry at different rates, it's essential to test it multiple times to track those rising and falling moisture levels. Accordingly, Schneider uses the moisture meter several times through all stages of post-harvest crop development, so he's confident that the final product will meet his customer's standards. 


Higher quality and a larger volume of products also boost the company's revenues while reducing expenses, since moisture controls ensure that as much of the crop as possible is appropriate for commercial sale. Schneider relies on his Delmhorst meters to tell him when it's safe to move on to the next step in the production process. 


The Impact: Consistent and Accurate Control

Delmhorst’s moisture meters for hay provides many benefits to Schneider and his teams: 


  • Because the meters are designed with a back-lit screen, accurate moisture testing happens as easily in barns and storage facilities as it does in the open field. 
  • Multiple device deployments during simultaneous operations facilitate accurate moisture measurements across all of Schneider's acreages. His teams know to rely on their digital readings, so Schneider can be confident that the production process remains consistent throughout all the company's activities.   
  • Embedding moisture meter usage across all teams has also streamlined farm operations. With accurate moisture data streaming in real-time, production managers can make decisions based on real facts from the field and not on guesses.   

The company is proud of the feedback it gets from its customers, too. Many landowners cite Schneider's commitment to quality as the reason they trust them to manage all their hay farming operations.


The Future: Continued Partnership with Delmhorst

While Schneider himself prefers using one of Delmhorst’s earlier meter versions (what he calls an analog moisture meter), he notes that his son is a fan of the newer models that offer more functions, on-screen statistics and digital capacities.  They now look forward to trying the FX-30, which offers Bluetooth® connectivity to the device's embedded EDGE app. 


Even though he's had the opportunity to test many other meters over the years, Schneider always returns to Delmhorst because their moisture meters are so comfortable to use, accurate, and dependable. And, while he's currently mourning the final demise of his trusty 48-year-old model, he's confident that he'll soon choose another Delmhorst option. "We've been using Delmhorst testers for decades,” he says, “and they've never let us down."


How can your hay production enterprise benefit from the consistency, ease, and accuracy of Delmhorst’s moisture meters? Give us a call today to find out.


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Topics: Delmhorst Instrument hay moisture meter Efficiency in hay production