Bruce Chessell with the Woodstock Sentinel-Review visited dairy companies showing cutting-edge technology at the final day of Canada's Outdoor Farm Show Thursday, demonstrating some of the latest advances in robotic farming equipment at the Britespan Dairy Innovation Centre. Below is an excerpt of his visit to Lely’s demonstration area. Read the entire article here.
Dairy equipment manufacturer Lely also displayed some of their recent innovations in the industry, such as their robotics.
"We've got multiple innovations here that we've got on display," said Lely's North American sales manager, Steve Fried. "We have our robotic milking system, we have a robotic TMR mixer and feeder, and then the robotic manure scraper."
Lely delivered the first robotic milking system to the world about 22 years ago, Fried said, and Lely currently has over 22,000 robotic milkers operating globally.
"The feed mixer as well is the first one of its kind," Fried said. "It was introduced to the marketplace four years ago, and the manure scraper system is one-of-a-kind as well. We introduced that 10 years ago, but it has not been duplicated since then.
"So they are all still fairly innovative within their categories."
Lely was also, for the first time, fully displaying their automated feed system.
"The feed is stored in what we call a feed kitchen, and then the computer program within the system tells it which ration to develop," Fried said.
Fried said the automated feed system delivered smaller amounts of feed to the cattle multiple times a day, resultiong in better intake from the animals and higher production.
The robot will also adjust the amount of feed given based on weather conditions and how the cows are eating, leading to less waste.
"To summarize, it would be delivering higher quality feed at a more consistent time, the cows take in more feed, and then when the feed is not required it does not deliver more feed," Fried said.
The price range for Lely's automated feeder is between $175,000 and $220,000, depending on the amount of features included.