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German Farm Diversifies Its Business and Increases Income with Wood-Mizer LT70 Sawmill

German Farm Diversifies Its Business and Increases Income with Wood-Mizer LT70 Sawmill

 

The 4th generation German farmer ventures into sawmilling with the LT70 sawmill, which lets him maintain the farm property and supply timber to the local community. With Wood-Mizer sawmilling equipment, farmers can diversify their operations and generate profit using local wood.

Andreas Piehl's farm in Barnitz, a tiny community nestled by the Elbe River, is a place his family has tended for four generations. The farm is deeply rooted in cattle breeding, caring for 280 cattle, and plans to continue growing its breeding stock. The farm spans 160 hectares, including meadows for fodder, forests, and fields for crops like maize, cereals, and rapeseed.

At the beginning of his farming journey, Andreas got professional training in agriculture and gained experience on a different farm. During this time, Andreas' father ran the family business, and Andreas was looking for ways to contribute and diversify their business. Discovering a Wood-Mizer portable sawmill at a trade show, Andreas saw an opportunity. In 1996, he purchased an LT40 gasoline sawmill and started his own mobile sawing services.

 

 

In 2003, the farm expanded with the acquisition of an adjacent property. Andreas immediately had more work: in the following years, he renovated and rebuilt almost all the buildings on the farm, using wood from his forest. Sourcing and cutting your own wood on your band sawmill was very cost-effective and paid off on Andreas' farm.

Andreas soon upgraded to an LT40 diesel sawmill and a more powerful LT70 electric sawmill. With an electric mill, sawing has become stationary and much more manageable. The LT70 model is the most powerful among professional Wood-Mizer's LT machines, and its outstanding feature is its cutting speed. High speed while maintaining cutting accuracy is achieved through the use of a powerful 18.5 kW engine, high-speed hydraulics for loading logs, motors that move the saw head forward/back and up/down, as well as many valuable devices making the operator's work more convenient, such as the Setworks, LubeMizer, electric blade guide arm and debarker. Compared to other LT models, the LT70's cast iron blade wheel has a larger diameter of 600 mm, allowing it to use blades 38 to 50 mm wide, contributing to the cutting speed increase.

 

 

Andreas' LT70 sawmill cuts logs into unedged boards and beams. After the LT70, Andreas uses the small Wood-Mizer EG100 edger, a compact machine that cuts boards lengthwise to size. Wood-Mizer produces the EG100 with an electric motor, as on Andres' farm, and a gasoline engine.

After the hurricane, when there was a lot of fallen, storm-damaged wood on the ground, primarily dry spruces, the demand for sawing services increased sharply, which made Andreas think about expanding his business. He established the Holzhandel AP for sawing and timber trading, equipping it with additional Wood-Mizer machinery to produce decking boards. Having expanded his offering to include a variety of wood species, Andreas now has a significant stock of logs and produces bespoke timber for private clients and carpenters.

 

 

Today, the family farm operates with the help of Andreas, his wife Anja, and full-time and part-time employees. Their sons and parents also lend a helping hand when needed. Son Max receives an agricultural education, and the family farming business flourishes, combining farming with sawmilling and timber trading.

 

 

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