Wordless Wednesday | Road Trip

If you’re traveling on this Wordless Wednesday, be on the lookout for this Lely cow as she travels down I-80 east bound. Any guesses whose farm she is going to?  Hint…..USA.

Speeding Cow

Do you have a photo that you would like to submit for Wordless Wednesday? Email us at LelyDairyLife@gmail.com.

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Open House at Spruce Lane Farms, Holland Centre, ON

You’re invited to an open house at Spruce Lane Farms this Saturday (July 26) from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Spruce Lane Farms is located near Holland Centre in Ontario Canada.

About the Farm

Spruce Lane Farms retrofitted their freestall parlor barn to accommodate four Lely A4 robotic milking machines in April 2014. They are currently milking 170 cows on the robots, and also utilize a Lely Juno 100 automatic feed pusher.

The Details 

What: Open House @ Spruce Lane Farms
When: Saturday, July 26, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: 804485 Grey Road 40, RR 1 • Holland Centre, N0H 1R0
For more information: Post Lely Center @ 519.846.1304 or email henry@postfarm.ca
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Hoefler Family Receives July Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award

Image courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association (http://www.midwestdairy.com/)

Congratulations to Brian and Eileen Hoefler of Dubuque County, Iowa on being named the July winners of the “Gary Wergin Good  Farm Neighbor Award.”

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in doing things right. This includes caring for the environment and their livestock and being good neighbors. It is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a long-time WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped create the award.

“The Hoefler family does a tremendous job caring for their animals and protecting our environment while also serving their community,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey.  “The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award is a great opportunity to bring attention to the many outstanding livestock farmers we have all across our state.”

Brian and Eileen farm along with their four children, Nick, Amanda, Abby and Jake.  They milk 180 Holstein cows, raise replacement heifers, finish out steers and have 600 acres of crop ground, including corn and hay.

The family takes great pride in the care they provide to their animals.  The dairy has 3 Lely robotic milkers that were installed in 2011. They have a free stall barn with waterbeds and an evaporative cooling system to enhance cow comfort.

They are also very active in their community and in promoting the dairy industry, including having their daughter Amanda currently serving as the Dubuque County Dairy Princess.

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Wordless Wednesday | Herd of Junos

We picked up this Wordless Wednesday on twitter from Justin Martens (@Avonbank_Ag). Avonbank Ag Solutions in Granton, Ontario have Juno feed pushers in stock and ready to go.

Herd of Junos

Do you have a photo that you would like to submit for Wordless Wednesday? Email us at LelyDairyLife@gmail.com.

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Check out Lely’s Summer Celebration

Webinar InviteIf you’ve been thinking about getting into robotic milking or expanding your operation, now is a great time to check out the Lely Astronaut A4 robotic milking system!

We are currently running a “Summer Celebration” promotion. For every robot  you order between June 2, 2014 and August 31, 2014 and delivered in 2014, you will receive a FREE Gravitor Stainless Steel Weigh Floor.

Additionally, you can also select one of the following for each
robot ordered:

  • FREE M4Use wall mounted system – for easy and accurate milk separation
  • FREE I-Flow selection gate including Texas gate – for easy management of cow flow
  • FREE MQC-C2 – for accurate monitoring of milk quality (not available in the US)
  • FREE box of 10 Heatime H or HR IR tags – accurate monitoring of cow activity and health

Contact your local Lely Center with any questions!


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Open House | Spence Farms, Elmvale/Springwater, ON

LELYDLR-0051 - Post Lely Center Open House Ad – July 19_HiRCome see the Lely A4 Astronaut robotic milking system at work during the Post Lely Center’s open house at Spence Farms in Elmvale/Springwater, Ontario on July 19, 2014.

About the Farm

Roger and Janice Spence and family built a new free stall barn attached to their older tie-stall barn and installed a Lely A4 automatic milking machine in January 2014 with room for another robot in the future. With their A4 robot, the farm currently milks approximately 60 cows. Join us to learn more about how switching to robotics has helped their dairy operation!

What: Open House at Spence Farms
When: Saturday, July 19, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: 1679 Flos Rd 10 West, Elmvale/Springwater, ON
For more information: Post Lely Center @ 519.846.1304 or email henry@postfarm.ca
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Open House: Tibben Family Brinston, ON

Tibben open house

What: Triple Robot Dairy Barn Open House
When: Saturday, July 19, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: 11341 Henderson Road, Brinston ON


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Wordless Wednesday | Lake Geneva FMS Training

Following up on a post from a couple of weeks ago, we wanted share a group photo from FMS Advisor training in Lake Geneva, WI  on this Wordless Wednesday.

These participants certified themselves as Lely FMS L1 Advisors. Congratulations!

Do you have a photo that you would like to submit for Wordless Wednesday? Email us at LelyDairyLife@gmail.com.

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Barn hygiene and robotic milking

On dairy farms, udder and claw health are closely related to barn hygiene. Clean and dry bedding reduces the risk of mastitis when the cow is resting and prevents the teats and udder to become dirty. Clean passages avoid that cows bring manure into the cubicles, allow the claws to dry and hence reduce the sensitivity for infectious claw disorders, and avoid cows from slipping when walking.

Brush cleaning
With robotic milking, barn hygiene demands thorough attention constantly. In a regular milking parlor, very dirty teats and udders may be cleaned differently. However, in an automated milking system (AMS) the teat cleaning process is the same for every cow and milking. As such, teats and udders have to be clean when the cow enters the stall for milking. The precise arm movements of the Lely brush system guarantee approximately 40% more effective cleaning and stimulation of the cow’s udder compared to conventional methods. Brush cleaning enables quick and very effective tactile stimulation, which is important for optimal oxytocin release.

Relationship between hygiene and udder health
Recent Dutch research from the universities of Utrecht and Wageningen has looked at the relationship between hygiene and udder health on farms with an AMS. This study clearly shows that both bulk tank somatic cell count as well as the % of new cows with increased somatic cell count are higher when the cows are dirtier (teats, udder, thighs).

In addition to actual barn hygiene, daily routines on the robot (cleaning of laser, teat cups and 3x daily replacing the milk filter) and cow hygiene (shaving tails, singing udders) help in maintaining an optimally working milking robot, prevent failures (and consequent problems with udder health) and achieve a good milking hygiene. Correct spraying of the teats after milking helps in achieving a lower % of new cows with increased somatic cell count. Regular checking of spraying is therefore advised.

Four ways to keep the udder clean:

  1. Dry and clean cubicles; use appropriate bedding material or sand. Cubicles need to have the right size and shape for comfortable lying positions and clean udders. Clean the cubicles at least twice a day to remove manure/urine/milk/wet patches.
  2.  Dry and clean floors; scrape manure frequently (Lely Discovery) and apply ventilation.
  3. Prevent excessive hair on tail and udder; shave or singe the hair on the udder and shave the tail preferably every three months in the summer and every eight weeks in the winter.
  4. Make optimal use of the brush and disinfection possibilities of the Astronaut milking robot. Brushes need to be changed regularly.

To evaluate barn hygiene, scoring cow cleanliness is the most reliable. To evaluate the udder hygiene you can use the udder hygiene score card. Please click here for the download. The goal is to have less than 10% dirty udders.

Claw health
In addition, a good claw health is crucial for successful robotic milking since the Lely system relies on free cow traffic and the willingness of the cow to visit the robot by herself. Claw diseases such as foot rot and Mortellaro’s disease will cause lameness and a reduction in the visit frequency to the milking robot. Lameness also causes irregularities in visit behavior which in turn can increase the likelihood of mastitis. Infectious claw diseases thrive in a humid, dirty environment. As such, a good ventilation of the barn and frequent scraping of the floor with e.g. an automated scraper like the Lely Discovery keep the alleys clean and dry. Also regularly foot bathing is recommended (Lely Walkway). Claw health and robot visit behavior will benefit from healthy and clean cows.

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Happy 4th of July!

Lely_0113_Fourth of July

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