The key to productivity lies in finding a system that works efficiently and promotes quality output. When you are a farmer, finding that key  requires a lot of research, consideration, planning, and testing of ideas. Some fail, and others hit the target, like importing a mower/shredder entirely unknown to South Africa all the way from Ireland.

Struggling with three mowers that could barely keep up with their tasks during peak season was not something Mark Hauff wanted to waste his time on any longer. He is a second-generation dairy farmer from southern KwaZulu-Natal, near Ixopo.

“We milk about 2 500 cows in two milking parlours,” he says.

“To keep this number of animals in the best condition for productive milk production, they graze on irrigated fields. Their diet is further supplemented with maize silage that we make ourselves.”

Taking care of more than two thousand animals is not child’s play! At Rockfontein, Mark’s family farm, they follow a high-pressure strip grazing system that ensures the cows graze the field piece by piece while other sections recover.

“However, what happens is that the cows eat selectively, leaving behind an unevenly grazed strip,” explains Mark. To combat this, we have to cut the tall stalks shorter before we sow in between. Once the cows move to the next strip, the mower must be followed by the planter. Following so closely behind the cows, you wrestle with tough cow dung that clings like cement to the blades.”

He says there is a good reason why people used to have cow dung floors back in the day!

In terms of equipment, these conditions are challenging because blades quickly dull, parts break, and the whole cutting process slows down. “I had to try to find an alternative,” Mark says.

“It was time-consuming, labour-intensive, and expensive to constantly do repair work.” That is why Mark started looking for the right product.

Valtrac brings world-class ingenuity to local soil

Major Equipment (Intl) Ltd is a manufacturer of agricultural equipment based in County Mayo, Ireland. Their products include mowers and construction equipment and has a distribution network spanning over 30 countries.

With a track record of success since 1976, Major prioritises durability, simplicity, and reliability in its products to meet various agricultural and commercial needs worldwide. By prioritising customer needs and using modern manufacturing techniques, Major continuously delivers exceptional solutions for businesses to thrive. After thorough research, Mark found a product that meets his needs: the Major Cyclone mower/shredder.

“The only drawback was that it was not available in South Africa, but that did not stop me,” he says.

The Valtra N134 easily draws the Major Cyclone mower over the contours of the field.

“My relationship with Valtrac, my tractor supplier, is very good. I know they are always on the lookout to bring new technology to farmers. That is why I talked to them and asked if they would consider importing the mowers. The Valtrac team went to inspect the mowers at an overseas show and agreed that it is a good product worth importing.” Mark was thus the first owner of a Major Cyclone mower in South Africa.”

“What Major’s Cyclone offers me is the choice to set the height at which the grass is cut. It also meets our needs because this mower works differently to the one you would use for haymaking,” explains Mark.

It has two regular blades that cut the grass at ground level, with two additional blades mounted to finely chop the cut grass. The end result is a uniform field with the shortly chopped grass forming a good cover.

The Cyclone is available in eight different sizes from 2,1 to 6,5 metres. Mark has a 4-metre model that is easily drawn behind his Valtra N134.

Strip grazing ensures that animals eat to their heart’s content, but it also means that the uneven patches left behind must be cut before sowing.

A huge difference from day one with Major’s Cyclone mower

It is now four years later, and Mark is pleased with the service he gets from this mower. “The noticeable difference is that previously we had to run up to three tractors with mowers in a day, but now this one machine easily does the work. “In summer, we have to cut at least sixteen hectares every day to keep up. With other brands, it would still require two machines, so the Cyclone helps our productivity. It is fast, reliable, and efficient.” Mark likes that the machine is well-built and protected against rust.

Only now are small cracks starting to appear, as part of years of wear and tear. “We move quickly through large hectares, making it definitely worth it in the long run. Thanks to the roller at the back of the mower, it also moves effortlessly over pivot tracks, so the implement lasts longer. He says he quickly learned that it was important for their dairy farm to add the front wheels, which can be purchased as an addition.

“Initially, we did not think it was necessary, but it is crucial support for cutting work over uneven fields. It actually made all the difference in the world.” Apart from the roller at the back needing regular cleaning because one of the native grasses in the area easily wraps around it, there is little maintenance work to be done. When blades need to be replaced after many hours, Mark recommends using the original, hard blades. “It is definitely worth it in the long run,” he concludes.

Valtrac is the sole importer of Major Cyclone mowers. These mowers are also used with great success in the USA and Australia for stubble management in cotton and maize fields.

To experience Valtrac’s excellent service delivery and find out what solutions they have for your farm, contact them at (+27)56-817-7338 or send an e-mail to Also, feel free to visit the website at to check out other quality products.