#LelyLife “More” Photo Contest

Congratulations to Luce Morin of Quebec who submitted several great photos in March of their dairy, Ferme Courlin Inc. Show us your “More” in April.  See the photo contest details below or at www.lelylife.com/2015-lelylife-more-photo-contest/

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Lely Robot Information Day goes to Dunnville, ON on Wed., April 1

Great information was shared during Lely Robot Information Day today in Woodstock, ON. Tomorrow, we will at the Dunnville, ON Memorial Arena & Community Lifespan Centre. See a few photos from the event in Woodstock and details about tomorrow on the flier below.

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Lely Robot Information Days – Tuesday, March 31, 2015 Woodstock, ON Canada

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Farfield Farms holds open house

Today in Elora, Ontario, Farfield Farms held an open house.  The Schnarr family moved into their new compost pack barn with two Lely A4 robots in July, 2014. The cows were previously housed in a tie-stall facility. They milk approximately 100 cows on their robots and make use of the Lely Juno 100 feed pusher as well as a Calm Automatic Calf feeder.

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#WordlessWednesday – “More” Trial Results

See the “More” found in these Lely Juno trial results on Valleykirk Farms in Ontario.

1L/cow/day at $0.79/L * 49 cows = $38/day = $14,000 per year increase in milk revenue

Labour savings of 1 hr/day * $20/hr = $20/day *365 = $7,300/ year.

Extra 300lbs. hay/day * $0.08 = $24/day = $8,700 more cost/year

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Technology Tuesday: West Welcomes More Change

Ron Johnson of DairyStar, writes about Jeff West of Farmersburg, Iowa who was new to computers less than a year ago and has taken to the technology like a cow to pasture. He got started with the machines when he installed three robotic milkers on his 180-cow farm. West decided to invest in Lely A4 robotic milkers because he wanted more information about how his 163 milking Holsteins are doing. The Wests built a double-4 milking parlor in 2000. West said he could have gleaned more cow information by upgrading the parlor, but the twice daily milking was taking six to eight hours a day.

Read this excerpt or the entire article here.

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Photo by Ron Johnson

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Photo by Ron Johnson

Thanks to the robots’ computer system, and the activity and rumination sensors on the cows’ collars, West can be swimming in numbers if he chooses. 

 

 

“I can tell if a cow is getting sick. I can tell how she is ruminating, whether she’s coming into heat,” he said.

Along with a wealth of cow information, the move to robotic milkers has rewarded West with more milk in the bulk tank. Production has risen 15 to 20 pounds a day, West said. As of late February, the cows were averaging 83 pounds of milk per day. According to his DHIA test records, the yearly average is approximately 24,000 pounds, on a 305-day lactation.

More good news with the robots: The somatic cell count (SCC) has dropped a bit and is now at roughly 200,000. The fat and protein tests, meanwhile, have stayed steady at 3.9 and 3.1 percent, West said.

Westrich Farms uses a free-flow system that lets cows go to the robots whenever they wish. West said the average number of milkings per cow per day is three. Some cows go through the robots as few as twice a day, while others opt to be milked six times daily.

 

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Robotic Milking Picks up Speed

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Harvesting 5,000 lb. of milk per robot per day should be the goal of any robotic system.

 

Dairy Today Editor Catherine Merlo writes about how robotic milking is increasing in the United States and around the world. Read an excerpt below. 

While an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 robotic milking systems (RMS) operate worldwide, about 500 are in place in the U.S.—and that number is growing, says Marcia Endres, professor and Extension dairy specialist with the University of Minnesota.

Improved quality of life, especially more flexibility with schedules;Most RMS in the world today are single-box systems with a robotic arm serving one to five boxes. An RMS can be a free-flow traffic system that allows cows to operate on their own instincts, enticing them with the tasty treat they learn to find in the milking box. 

The other main RMS style is a guided-flow system that takes a “milk-first, feed-second” approach by pre-selecting cows and sending them to the RMS through a series of selection gates.

For nearly two years, Endres and University of Minnesota colleague Jim Salfer have been conducting a study with 52 RMS farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin. What the two researchers have found is that dairy producers turn to RMS for several reasons:

  • More efficient labor management, which results from needing fewer humans to milk cows, and reduced labor costs;
  • Less strain on human health, as milkers move away from the repetitive movements that often cause back, knee, wrist and hand problems;
  • Upgraded technology that provides a wealth of information about each cow at each milking;
  • Consistency from machines over the variability of human labor.

 To read the entire article, click here

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Wordless Wednesday – #LelyLife

Mario Gosselin of Ferme Courlin Inc. in Quebec, Canada.  #LelyLife Lely 5

 

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It’s not all work and no play at East Stewiacke dairy

LelyHockeyarticle_largeLelyHockey2article_largeWinding River Farms Ltd. in Stewiacke is owned by the Harbers and Vissers families. They began milking their 160 purebred Holstein herd with three Lely A4 Astronaut robotic milking units a year ago. Labor flexibility and animal welfare were two main reasons why the families opted for robotic milking.

Recently, Lyle Carter of the Truro Daily News, wrote afternoon he spent at Winding River Farms when several children from the East in Stewiacke area and family members of the Vissers-Harbers’ dairy farm enjoyed a day of fun skating and hockey at the farm. After the kids had a chance to enjoy the outside rink, adults played a game of hockey. Read the article.

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Little Rapids dairy farmers named Atlantic Outstanding Young Farmers

Read from The Western Star about David and Sara Simmons and Pure Holsteins dairy.

articleBeing named Atlantic Outstanding Young Farmers for 2015 is recognition of what David and Sara Simmons have accomplished since launching their Pure Holsteins dairy farm in 2011. David and Sara were presented with the award, part of the Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program, during a banquet in Moncton, N.B, this past Friday. The award is handed out based on production history, business management and community involvement.

“The biggest thing that brought Sara and I forward was our production history,” said David, 32, on Monday. “The changes that we’ve made, the increases we’ve been able to achieve since we’ve taken over management of the farm and since then purchased the dairy.”

The Simmons have two Lely robots.  Read more about the  Simmons’ recognition.

 

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