For Ben and Margie VanBoven and their son, Matt, who operate Vanvalley Farm Ltd, located on Vancouver Island in the Cowichan Valley region in British Columbia, the Lely Vector provides fresh feed to their herd multiple times a day, saves on fuel costs while accurately mixing and providing feed management with less waste.
In 2015, after renting a total mixed ration (TMR) mixer the previous winter and doing the math on fuel consumption, labor and capital cost of a tractor and TMR mixer, the family decided to purchase a Lely Vector automatic feeding system. The barn had a large roofed, cemented area that was not being utilized that the family turned into a feed kitchen.
“In July of 2015, we started feeding with the Vector and, to this day, we have not seen an increase in our hydro bill (electric bill). We also saw an increase in milk production to 40 liters (83 lbs.) per day,” Margie said.
The Lely Vector keeps cows fed by scanning the feed height at each group and making on-demand mixes when needed. This way, cows always get fresh, accurate mixes throughout the day, resulting in less waste and spoilage.
The system is completely adaptable to any farm and feeding program. Feed types, rations, feed groups and feeding routes can be adjusted at any time.
Filling the feed kitchen can happen at any time throughout the day, and allows for three days of storage (at least), so the labor required to feed your cows decreases dramatically.
“We have been operating the Lely Vector for 16 months now and just love it,” Margie said. “We have it programed to push up every 40 minutes or 36 times a day.
“With the Vector, we save time and labor and the cows are always fed on time; never early and never late. It is an investment, but you have to consider the labor cost of having someone do that for you.”
See the Lely Vector in action on the Vanvalley Farm for yourself.