Calves Benefit with Lely Calm; Sign up to Win One

Nov25Calm_350x250_JP_English“The biggest benefit is that your calves are getting more milk. They are getting bigger faster,” says Jeremy Plett of Sunny Glade Farm about the Lely Calm. 

He says Lely Calm helps monitor calves’ drinking speed and their drinking habits. So if a calf gets sick, it is easy to tell how their intake has changed. See his comments in this video.

Register now to win this Lely Calm labor-savings package. A lucky winner in the U.S. and Canada will each win:

• (1) Lely Calm automatic calf feeder

• (10) Lely calf jackets

• A 30-day supply of Lely milk replacer

Sign up to win online at:

Learn more about the Lely Calm automatic calf feeder at


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Un grand jour aujourd’hui, le démarrage des robots à la Ferme Roystein/ A big day today, the start of robots on the Roy farm

From Lely Quebec & Agri-Robotique inc.  –

Un grand jour aujourd’hui, le démarrage des robots à la Ferme Roystein. Félicitation à la famille Roy /  A big day today, the start of robots at the farm roystein. Congratulations to the Roy family.


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Dairy includes brand new robotic farm


Photo courtesy of SwissLane Dairy Facebook.

Gloria Hafemeister, writer with Wisconsin State Farmer wrote about SwissLane farm in Alto, MI, which is in its fourth generation of ownership and includes multiple members of the Oesch family. Because they brought so many family members into the business, they are now a large farm with 2,000 Holsteins and numerous accompanying young stock. Read an excerpt below or the entire article here.

The dairy side

Tom Oesch explained the dairy side of things and how they maintain their 29,000 rolling herd average and 120,000 scc average. “Our goal is to be 100 percent registered Holstein,” he said. “We believe the industry is moving ahead in leaps and bounds with genomics, and we are participating.

“We have one of the most talented dairy staff in the country. Our success is largely owed to them.”

Tom worked as a nutritionist for six years before returning to the farm.

Of the farm’s business philosophy, he says, “We want to keep things in-house. We do our own breeding and flushing. We do our own crops. We partner with our local utility to process our manure to turn it into power for 110 homes.”

They also do their own calf management to maximize genetic potential. Their calving goal is 22 months, and they have some that freshen at 20 months.

The farm has adapted a centralized calving system, something they gleaned from their many visits to other successful dairies around the country.

Transition cows are all at the robot dairy. Because they stress cow comfort, they utilize sand, but they are always open to other bedding methods, realizing sand is harder on equipment.

He calls the robotic dairy their “dream dairy.” It was built in the middle of a field, and everything was designed specifically to work with the robotic system.

“We wanted what was best for the cows,” he said.

Since they started milking in the robot barn four years ago, their average daily milk production has gone up by 30 pounds a day, and they have lowered their cull rate by 9 percent. They say that’s because it is a single-box robot where the cow chooses when she will get milked.

“It’s a philosophical thing,” Tom said when asked about why they chose to use eight single boxes instead of a rotary robot system. “We just wanted a system that didn’t put any stress on the cows.”

Matt Oesch is in charge of the farm’s cropping enterprise. They utilize Feed Watch and measure shrink.

They closely monitor the energy-corrected milk and milk income over feed cost, working to build a history.

“Looking at that,” he said, “we will notice certain things jump out at us and we can then make good decisions.”

When they put up their feed they stress the importance of packing it well. They use inoculants and put an oxygen barrier on top and then a plastic cover.

The family raises corn, alfalfa, soybeans, wheat and sudex on 5,000 acres of land. Of that land, they own 1,780 acres. They also apply their own manure to the crops after it goes through a digester that is owned by their utility.

They use a sand separator, reclaiming 85 percent of their sand for reuse, and are continually working on ways to make that an even better system.


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Lely Representatives Attend Dairy Girl Network Meeting at WDE


photo copyright 2015 HolsteinWorld/Randy Blodgett

During World Dairy Expo, a Dairy Girl Network Meeting was held at the Monona Terrace in Madison and welcomed more than 180 Dairy Girls. Laura Daniels welcomed and announced that they were proud to have everyone there and that were an official 503 nonprofit corporation.

The Dairy Girl Network aspires to help one another in continuing to move industry progress forward. The group offers opportunities for all women in the dairy industry to achieve personal and professional development. Bellana Putz, customer sales support manager, and Vanessa Knoblock, regional sales specialist for the Midwest, represented Lely at this event.

The Dairy Girl’s first event held in the east at the All-American Shows was a large success and the first western event will be held at the World Ag Expo this February.

The group was excited to announce their mentor program that will be starting soon pairing younger members with Dairy Girl mentors in the industry.

“I am looking forward to having the opportunity to help and support other Dairy Girls on the same level that I have enjoyed throughout my career,” Knoblock says. “The Dairy Girl Network draws women from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. I draw inspiration and energy from having the opportunity to interact with a diverse, supportive group of Dairy Girls.”

Women manage significant roles on dairy farms and vendor businesses, in addition to serving in leadership positions among industry organizations. The experience of professional women involved within the dairy industry is very unique. Passions, triumphs and challenges are somewhat different, compared to other agricultural sectors.

See more pictures from the event in Madison here.


Vanessa Knoblock with Lely attended the Dairy Girl meeting at World Dairy Expo. Photo copyright 2015 HolsteinWorld/Randy Blodgett


Bellana Putz with Lely (right) attended the Dairy Girl meeting at World Dairy Expo. Photo copyright 2015 HolsteinWorld/Randy Blodgett









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Lely Supports 4-H and FFA at World Dairy Expo

If you ask people to support 4-H and FFA, they will come!  

Lely North America has donated $1,000 each to 4-H and FFA groups after asking World Dairy Expo attendees to stop at the Lely booth and sign the astronaut in support of the organizations. Even within the first few hours of the show, signatures started to fill up the board. (See the pictures below.) Thank you to everyone who stopped. Lely is a proud supporter of both groups and youth dairy programs. We believe the dairy industry has a bright future.






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Lean concept used to increase efficiency on dairies

SMINK_BEN_1Ben Smink, a manager in Farm Management Support (FMS) for Lely North America, offers insight into how FMS has implemented the Lean Concept in a recent article for Progressive Dairyman. Read this excerpt below.

By implementing lean principles on their 1,000-cow dairy, Hemdale Farms in Seneca Castle, New York, saw an increase in milk per man per hour from 500 pounds to nearly 800 pounds in the past seven years.

In the same period, Swisslane Dairy in Alto, Michigan, reduced the labor
hours in the barn by 65 hours using the same principles.

Lean production techniques, which have been revolutionizing industrial
companies and manufacturing operations for 50 years, are an approach to
systematically seek ways to achieve small, incremental changes in
processes in order to improve efficiency and quality.

The purpose of lean is not to work harder but to work smarter. Lean is a
management philosophy that can have a positive impact for dairies too.
The goal is to add value to every single step of the process, not only to
cut waste out of every step but also add value and find unused talents of
cows and people.

Lely North America has developed a lean module and process to help
larger dairies improve efficiencies and quality.

Our Farm Management Support (FMS) team uses this module to train
local dairy advisers so they can help dairies reach higher levels of
efficiency in producing milk. In the past three years, we have been
working with dairy operations to incorporate lean techniques.

One technique is to implement standard operating procedures employees
can use that will help with workflow and time management. Standard operating procedures include clear instructions, checkoff lists, observation notes and more.
In addition, the lean process helps owners take a better look at short and longterm
goals and steps on how to best achieve those goals.

Read the entire article here.   14_Lely T4C InHerdDarrenSandersPostSept22014

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#Wordless Wednesday – New Lely robot start-ups

Two new start-ups in dairies in Ontario, Canada and one in Ohio, USA. Cows are already moving through the robots.


First milking using Lely robots today at Sutherhill Farms with the installation by Avonbank Ag Solutions in Ontario.


Cows flowing excellent on just the 3rd milking at this Ohio dairy. Installation is by Prenger’s Inc.

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Plett Family Speaks at World Dairy Expo Virtual Farm Tour

VirtualFarmTourWDE2015The Plett family of Sunny Glade Farm spoke at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., Thursday where the family shared their robotic milking story as part of the 2015 Virtual Farm Tour lineup. The tour will include a 30-minute presentation of their operation, including general information and highlights of the farm’s management practices.

On May 4th, 2013, a fire claimed the barn and about 100 cows at Sunny Glade Farm near Blumenort, Manitoba. The family rebuilt and upgraded their dairy operation. Their new facility now incorporates four Lely A4 Astronaut robotic milking systems and as a Vector automatic feeding system.

“The Lely Vector is working 24 hours a day, pushing up the feed and scanning the bunk to see how much feed is there at the time,” says Weldon Plett, who owns Sunny Glade.

If the feed is low anywhere, the Vector will go to the feed kitchen where the feed is stored. A grabber system loads the Vector with the appropriate ration to meet the needs of each specific group. Once it’s loaded, it will mix the ration and travel back out to the feed bunk and deliver the feed to the cows there.

“So you’re always getting fresh feed to the cows at the right time,” Plett says.

In addition, the Pletts have incorporated four Lely A4 Astronaut robotic milking systems. About 250 cows are milked. They have incorporated a free cow traffic system with the robots. 

Watch this video produced by Bloomberg News at Sunny Glade Farm. 

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Lely on Display at World Dairy Expo

WDE 2015 Booth 3


The Lely Vector automatic feeding system, Lely A4 Astronaut automatic milking system and the full line of Lely products are on display at World Dairy Expo 2015. 

Attendees were inviteWDE 2015 Booth 2d to sign an A4 panel to show support for 4-H or FFA.  People came in droves to sign the panel. Lely will be making a contribution to each organization on behalf of those who signed the board. 

World Dairy Expo continues this week until Saturday, October 3, 2015, 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. each day 
Alliant Energy Center
1919 Alliant Energy Center Way
Madison, WI 53713



WDE 2015 Booth 1

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Lely Sponsors Judging Contest at World Dairy Expo 2015

Lely kicked off  the 2015 World Dairy Expo this week by sponsoring the judging contest. Congratulations to all involved.

The students at Northeast Iowa Community College earned 2nd place showmanship in the World Dairy Expo judging contest!

WDE Judging Contest 5

WDE Judging Contest WDE Judging Contest 3 WDE Judging Contest 4

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