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Hay blog

The largest organic pasture milk farm in the Black Forest

The Friedrich family has been using a HSR 200 for hay drying since 2017. Their decision to convert to organic pasture milk was preceded by a long, intensive search documented in the master’s thesis of farmer and operator Mathias Friedrich.

The farm of Mathias Friedrich (29) is a prime example of a successful farm modernisation. Following intensive consideration, Mathias took his business into a new era and set the scene for a successful new start by purchasing a state-of-the-art hay drying system and converting from silage to pasture milk.

Until 2017, the Friedrich family business exclusively used silage clamps, but Mathias concluded that hay farming was the way to go, based on intensive engagement with the issue as part of his studies and master’s thesis. “The decisive factor was, above all, the beneficial effect on animal health”, explains Mathias.

Plus Mathias also values his own quality of life, in addition to his animals’ longevity and low veterinary costs. “I enjoy working with healthy animals much more, and barns with hay-fed cows just smell so much better and have a much nicer overall feel”, he enthuses. Finally, he does not need to go out in all weathers to get feeds from his silage clamps. For Mathias, scraping snow and ice to be able to cover silage clamps in the winter months is now nothing but a distant memory. These days, he comfortably lifts feeds and delivers them to his cows from one of his four hay boxes using a closed HSR 125.28 hay crane with air-conditioning and heating.

Given the increasing premiums for organic pasture milk, the transition is also becoming more and more interesting from a financial perspective. As the German Pasture Milk Consortium is growing more influential, this is definitely an area to be watched, if the experiences of the Austrian Pasture Milk Consortium are anything to go by.

Mathias has created a self-reliant system with his own solar power plant, which generates enough power to operate his HSR 200 with Vario Comfort control and his 80-kW SR 1400 ventilator.


“It’s important not to go with the flow sometimes”, says Mathias, who wakes up happy every day in the knowledge that he has chosen this new path. At a recent Open Day, 2000 neighbours, farmers and friends were able to gain first-hand impressions of his new, successful way of farming – a fabulous event with fascinating discussions and a great deal of interest in the farm and its drying processes, as the pictures below clearly show.

We from HSR Hay Drying are happy and grateful that we have been able to support Mathias and his family on their path, and we look forward to sharing their future hay drying successes with them.

Key data on the Friedrich family farm
The Friedrich family farm in 78199 Bräulingen in the Black Forest is a family business that spans three generations – the only way to manage its 145 ha of farmland, including 105 ha grasslands. Hay is harvested in four hay boxes at an intensity of four cuts. The hay barn measures 72 x 20 x 16 m, and the hay boxes 2 x 280 m² and 2 x 355 m². The business runs 120 dairy cows with breeding outsourced to a partner farm.

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