Lely FMS Team – Partnering for Profitability

How Lely’s Farm Management Support can help you achieve your goals

The b_FMSAug29eauty of partnering with Lely in a robotic milking venture is we appreciate the fact that no two dairies will ever be exactly the same. The breed or herd size may vary, but more importantly, producers’ goals are different. Lely recognized this need for customization early on, and decided to build a Farm Management Support (FMS) team, as a result. The FMS team’s goal is to provide one-on-one support, tailored to that specific operation, before, during and after robot installation.     

Lely keeps it local

Many companies have two or three experts that represent their company in a similar farm support capacity. This support is not practical. What good is the knowledge if only a few people have it? Lely’s FMS system is structured to train individuals at the Lely Center level (Lely dealerships) to provide producers local support. These trainings occur throughout the year, and several are offered so local FMS advisors may grow their knowledge from what they learned in the previous course. These are formalized training sessions taught by Lely’s very own Senior Farm Management Support team, who is highly experienced in herd health, nutrition, reproduction, rumination, per-cow management through Lely’s T4C herd management software, cow flow, the “lean” concept and much more.  

How Lely FMS works for you

Lely’s local FMS advisors work with customers to lay out a program three months before startup and throughout the first year, making several visits and providing assessments and conducting webinars until the farmer is comfortable to run the herd and robots.

 Throughout that process, local FMS advisors will provide ongoing support in the following areas:

  • Best practices to maximize milk production, reproduction and overall profitability.
  • FMS will help producers learn to use the Lely T4C management system in daily business. In addition, FMS advisors will help customize Lely T4C InHerd to the farm to get the maximum benefit from this unique herd management tool.
  • When the time of the initial milking comes, advisors will explain the protocol, and will build a customized plan that covers how to create different groups in the barn and how to organize staffing. The FMS advisor will be on-farm to assist during the move to robotic milking to help train cows for the quickest transition possible. 
  • FMS advisors will provide guidance for daily routines
that need to be adapted or changed. A tailored plan will be made according to each producer’s barn layout and logistics.
  • Besides start-up support, FMS advisors are trained to assist in pinpointing improvements that can be made on farm to maximize herd efficiencies.
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Wordless Wednesday – North American Dairy Producers Tour Lely’s Largest European Robot Farm in Germany


A group of North American dairy producers visit Lely’s largest robot farm, Ruppendorf Farm (21 robots), in Germany on a Lely tour this week.


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Lely Vector Users Save 300 Hours of Labor Per Year

The Lely Vector automatic feeding system is now more flexible than ever with the capability to work with a feed kitchen or a tower silo system. No matter which system you use, this unique setup allows for precise and efficient feeding, increasing labor and fuel efficiency while doing so. Take a look at the results from a recent study conducted by Lely.

A Lely Vector Trial

Data from 17 Lely Vector farms was collected between 2011 and 2013. The following results were found when comparing farms one year before feeding with the Vector and one year after (note: farms started at different times; seasonality did not affect results):

  • Average milk production increased of almost 4 lbs/cow with the same feed
  • Reduced labor by at least 78% on all farms
  • 43% saved 300-500 hours of labor per year
  • 35% saved more than 500 hours per year
  • Farm savings of 970-1,530 gallons of diesel per year by eliminating need for tractor and TMR mixer
  • Herd behavior changed, stimulating free cow traffic
  • Feeding 24 hours per day increased rumination and in turn, improved feed efficiency

The post “Making the Switch to Automated Calf Feeding” appeared first in CowManagement magazine.

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Alleck Olerud experiences new robotic milker install

As we mentioned in a previous post, Alleck Olerud is spending his summer interning with Lely. We sat down with Alleck and asked him about his experience of installing his first robotic milking system. Check it out.

What do you most enjoy about working with Lely as a company?

My desire has always been in sales and management and having the opportunity to work with an innovative company like Lely has been priceless. It has been an eye opening experience how the robotic technology has had such a positive influence on the day-to-day lives of the producers who own the robots.

Tell us about the 8 robot start-up you recently worked on. Who was involved?

Untitled1The robots were sold by Lely Center Vermont who was helping throughout the whole start-up process. I worked with the start-up team doing 12-14 hour shifts each day for one week. I was amazed how quickly the farmer and his staff adapted to the technology.

What was your role?

During the first day of startup, I worked with the producer to introduce each cow to the robot for the first time. When a cow first comes into the robot, the farmer needs to line the robot arm up with the udder of the cow. After the first milking, I assisted on the other side of the robot by helping the cows get into the robot to be milked.

What surprised you?

I was surprised with how easily the cows were going into the robot during the first few milkings. Growing up on a dairy farm, I know how cows can be very hesitant to accept new things, however, they were lining up to get into the robot.

How did you interact with the robot owner?

UntitledWhether we were in the robot room or in the barn, the owner was eager to learn more about other startups and different farms I have been to. They expressed interest to me in producing ice cream like some farms they had visited prior to the start-up.

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Want to join the Lely team?

Lely North America has an open position for a Senior FMS Advisor Dairy XL.

The position of Senior (Farm Management Support) Advisor Dairy XL trains Lely Center dealers to become independent consultants to Lely Dairy XL customers (>500 cows), by providing farm and people management guidelines.

Preferred location for this position is Western U.S. Required qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in Dairy Science or Veterinarian Medicine, and a minimum of 5 years on-farm experience as a bovine consultant in North America.  For more details, visit: http://www.agcareers.com/lely-north-america/senior-farm-management-supporter-dairyxl-job-390297.cfm

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Meet Intern Alleck Olerud

Alleck OlerudAlleck Olerud is spending his summer interning with Lely. Alleck is a Business Education major at Winona State University in Winona, MN and will graduate in December 2014. We’ve asked Alleck few questions about himself. Check out his Q&A below. Alleck will also tell us a bit about his experiences this summer in a separate post.

How did you find Lely?

I was introduced to Lely by a friend, Rick Rugg. Rick told me he had a great opportunity for me to work with him and different Lely Centers over the summer. I thought it would be very beneficial for me, and the internship would highlight many things I am interested in, such as finding a more productive way for working in the dairy industry.

Describe your duties and length of assignment.

I began my internship in May 2014, and it will conclude at the end of August 2014. I have been involved on sales trips with Lely Center sales men/women, as well as FMS support for Lely customers. I have also worked a great deal with the Lely Centers in the Midwest to figure out the operating cost of Lely Astronauts for the year of 2013. While I was working with the Lely Centers, I had the opportunity to be exposed to several start-ups in the U.S.  Another project I have been working on is communicating the pros and benefits of InHerd to existing robot users.

What is your key project or area of focus?

During my internship, my main focus has been gathering financial information on annual operating cost of Lely Astronaut Robots. In addition, I’ve had the opportunity to shadow many Lely Center sales men/women when they are talking with potential customers, as well as working with the Lely FMS team. Throughout the summer, I was able to visit with many famers and talk with them about everyday life on the farm after the Lely Astronauts.

What have you found most surprising about your experience?

I been impressed with the support the Lely team provides for their customers. From the Lely Centers taking care of general maintenance, to Lely FMS and TSS, the farmer has numerous supporters willing to help every day.

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Wordless Wednesday | First Vector in US

It’s another Wordless Wednesday.

Today photo comes from Westview Farm in Peach Bottom, PA. Farm owner, Galen Nolt installed the first Vector automatic feeding system in the US.

Lely Vector

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

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Making the Switch to Automated Calf Feeding

Lely_CalmMaking the switch to automated calf feeding has not only proven benefits to calves, but to calf managers as well. Knigge Farms, located in Omro, WI, is owned and operated by Pete and Theo Knigge, their son, Charlie and his son, Jacob. The family operation includes 600 acres of cropland, 120 milking cows and 150 young stock with 30 calves on milk.

The family made the switch to automatic calf feeding by implementing a Lely Calm automatic calf feeder with two stalls. In the two years the automatic calf feeder has been in use, improved health has been the number one benefit to calves on the farm.

“The second largest benefit is the size of calves weaned,” said Charlie. “It has just been dramatic how vigorous, healthy and large the calves are, coming out of the automated feeding system.”

Another benefit is how much easier the automated feeding is on the person feeding the calves. Additionally, the calf mortality rate on the farm has significantly decreased.

The post “Making the Switch to Automated Calf Feeding” appeared first in CowManagement magazine.

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Hear what Vector users have to say

Corjan and Sandra Doornenbal moved to Tillsonburg, Ontario from Holland 10 years ago. They have three children: Jenifer, Kim and Mike. The family started milking with an Astronaut A2 milking robot in a converted beef barn.

In the years following, the Doornebals added a second and third A2 and in 2010, built a new barn with three A4 robots. In 2012 they added the Lely Vector automatic feeding system. Today, they milk approximately 160 cows, as well as maintain young stock and dry cows.

“We really appreciate the Vector,” says the Doornenbal family. “It gives us more time to do other things and it makes our social life easier.”

What they like most about the Lely Vector on their farm:

  • Stores feed for several days
  • Creates more rations for different groups
  • Ease of mixing
  • You don’t need a rail, it drives anywhere
  • Saving on equipment, fueling and time
  • Data from the Vector on T4C management software

Nicolaas and Wilma Zeldenrijk moved to Mt Elgin, Ontario from Holland 12 years ago. They have six children, Marcella, Kimmely, Lars, Arno, Charlotte and Bren. The family owns and operates New Galma Dairy, milking approximately 160 cows as well as maintaining young stock and dry cows. The Lely Vector automatic feeding system began feeding on the farm in January of 2013 and the farm is now milking with three Astronaut A4 milking robots as of March 2013.

“The feeding robot is amazing,” says the Zeldenrijk family. “Everybody knows it is the best on the market.”

What they like most about the Lely Vector on their farm:

  • Ration is easy to change
  • No mistakes on mixing
  • Runs smoothly
  • Freedom of time
  • Flexibility
  • Better control over rations than with TMR mixer
  • Feed several different groups accurately
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Wordless Wednesday | Sunny Glade Farms

Happy Wordless Wednesday everyone!

Today we thought we would share a few of the photos from the Sunny Glade Farms article that we that posted about on Monday.

Here are a few photos of the Vector automatic feeding system at Sunny Glade Farms near Blumenort, Manitoba.

Images are from www.steinbachonline.com and are part of the article “Sunny Glades Farms Up-and-Running.”










Images are from www.steinbachonline.com and are part of the article “Sunny Glades Farms Up-and-Running.”

These photos are part the story Steinbach Online posted on their website. Be sure to check out the full article.

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

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