New livestock technology unveiled

EuroTier, the big German livestock show, once again delivered some of the most innovative ideas in animal agriculture

The future of farming will be based on automation, robotics and farming by your phone, according to exhibitors at the latest EuroTier show in Germany.

About 155,000 farmers attended EuroTier 2018 in Hannover, Germany, this year, classed as the world’s leading trade fair for animal production, organized by the German Agricultural Society, DLG.

This time around, 2,526 exhibitors from 62 countries exhibited modern animal production solutions in more than 260,000 sq. metres of space.

Whether it was new machinery or tweaks to existing models, latest software to help farmers manage their animals virtually, or new developments in feeding technology, EuroTier had it all.

If farming is to be sustainable in the future there is no doubt the industry needs to embrace new technology and put it into practice.

Some of the latest trends at the show included the most luxurious and expensive cow mat in the world, on-farm dairy pasteurisers, and of course lots of robotics.

However, not all farmers can afford the large investments some technology requires in order to fully utilize it. And not all new technology makes it to commercial sales stage.

Large slurry hose reel extends to 800 metres

Utilizing more slurry and reducing artificial fertilizer costs is one of the main goals of Canadian company Cadman, which introduced its Continuous Manure Applicator (CMA) at EuroTier.

This massive machine holds 800 metres of 5.5 inch hose pumping slurry with a Cornell pump powered by a John Deere 375 horsepower engine. It is designed to be a one man operation and can apply slurry to growing crops up to one metre in height.

The tractor pulls the injector with the patented CMA swivel arm, which in turn pulls the hose away from the CMA and incorporates in 30 or 40 foot width rows.

When the tractor gets to the opposite end of the field (up to 0.5 miles), the tractor turns 180 degrees and comes back down the field, incorporating another 30 and 40 foot strip. When the tractor turns, the swing arm turns to the side of the toolbar, which keeps the hose in the same row it was pulled out on.

While the operator is completing his return trip, the remote control automatically moves the CMA forward another 60 or 80 feet in order to start another pass.

The empty weight of the unit is 32 tonnes and is for sale at $679,000.

Siloking reveals latest electric self-loading self-propelled feeder

With increased focus on developing renewable energy machinery, Siloking is introducing its new electric powered silage feeder to the market.

This self-propelled eSilokamm comes complete with a cab offering all-round visibility and is used for loading, transporting and discharging silage or maize.

The new Siloking machine is designed for farms that have longer distances between the silage and feed bunks and comes with two load capacities; 3.6 and 4.6 cubic metres. The battery can last for up to 10 years, or 1,600 load cycles, after which time it holds up to 60 percent of its capacity. | Crhis McCullough photo

It has two speed options reaching up to 10 or 20 km-h and will run for two hours on one full charge.

Made in Germany, this new machine is designed for farms that have longer distances between the silo and cow shed and comes with two load capacities; 3.6 and 4.6 cubic metres.

The battery can last for up to 10 years, or 1,600 load cycles, after which time the battery holds up to 60 percent capacity.

Siloking head of product management and marketing Philipp Twickler said: “Working equipment running almost noiseless with no emissions at all increases the well-being of the animals, especially in low-height and narrow barns.”

Inside the cab the operator can control all hydraulic functions via the multifunctional armrest integrated into the driver’s seat.

The ergonomic joystick with intuitive key assignment makes it possible to control all work functions by one hand only. A multifunctional display right in the driver’s field of vision indicates all machine functions and is easy to use. Three LED working lights illuminating the complete working area in an optimal way provide additional safety.

Narrow sheds with low heights are no problem for this versatile and compact machine, thanks to its width of 2.10 metres and its height of 2.5 metres.

The list price of the 3.6 cubic metres machine is $74,800.

New mobile milk feeder saves time

Feeding high numbers of calves can be a real pain but a new mobile unit that can feed up to 50 calves at once should help.

German company Patura has introduced its mobile milk express unit developed especially for large herds wanting to feed a lot of calves.

The Patura milk feeder holds 500 litres of milk that is mixed within three to five minutes with the onboard Honda pump. With 30 teats it can feed 30 calves, but can be expanded to 50. There is also a five metre dispensing nozzle at the rear of the feeder, should the operator prefer to feed calves in single pens, dispensing the milk from the large tank.

This unit can be transported all around the farm and placed either indoors in pens or outdoors in the fields.

The tank holds 500 litres of milk that is mixed within three to five minutes with the onboard Honda four-stroke pump.

The unit on display had 30 teats, so could feed 30 calves, but this can be increased to 50 if the farmer requires it. There is also a five metre dispensing nozzle at the rear of the feeder should the operator prefer to feed calves in single pens, dispensing the milk from the large tank.

A float level indicates the quantity of milk remaining inside the tank. A self-cleaning program is used to completely clean the unit with clean water inside three minutes.

This complete unit with 30 teats costs about $10,500.

Trioliet feeding robot attracts attention

Another newcomer to the world of robotic feeding was Trioliet’s Triomatic WB 2-250, which travels on wheels instead of a rail.

It uses battery power to travel, discharge feed and push up the feed in the passage. However, it docks onto a power rail in the feed kitchen to the main electrical to charge and mix.

The Trioliet WB2-250 has a capacity of 2.5 cubic metres and two augers, is 1.25 metres wide and needs a minimum 2.4 metre wide passage to discharge the feed. The Triomatic robot uses an antenna that follows an induction wire or transponders in the floor, rather than overhead rails. | Chris McCullough photo

This gives the robot extra capacity and prolongs the lifespan of the batteries.

With a capacity of 2.50 cubic metres, the WB2-250 model has two augers, is 1.25 metres wide and needs a minimum 2.4 metres wide passage in which to discharge the feed.

For navigation, the Triomatic WB 2-250 robot uses an antenna that follows an induction wire or transponders on the floor. This makes it possible to operate without any need for a rail, even between different sheds across a farmyard. The robot can be combined with all types of Triomatic feed kitchens that are already available. Depending on the route, this model can discharge up to 15 tonnes of feed per day.

World’s most expensive cow mattress

If Carlsberg did cow mattresses it probably would make something like the new luxurious example just launched by Cowhouse International in the Netherlands.

The Dutch Mountain mattress is potentially the most expensive one in the world, at $490 per cow, but the manufacturer claims it offers the best comfort to the animal.

The Dutch Mountain mattress, with its tapered foam design, might be the most expensive one in the world, at $490 per cow. | Chris McCullough photo

Essentially, it is a unique piece of foam developed and manufactured by the company, which is 14 centimetres thick at the front sloping down to 10 cm at the rear.

It is designed to adapt to the shape of the cow and follow all her movements. The foam is completely enveloped by a one millimetre thick waterproof rubber membrane and is then covered by an eight mm thick polypropylene 3D topcover.

Cows lie comfortably for longer periods of time without pain, resulting in higher health and more milk production.

Intensive testing has already been carried out on this mattress, which comes with a three-year warranty.The company says it should last 10 to 15 years.

Home cheese production made easy

Producing home-made cheese is becoming popular across the world on dairy farms, thanks to systems such as the new MP Cheese Pasteuriser from Greek company Milkplan.

Made from easy cleaned stainless steel, the system is for use on farms that want to produce cheese and in smaller food processing companies.

Need pasturization on the farm? The Milkplan unit has a 200 litre capacity, with 300 and 1,000 available, making farm-made cheese or bottling possible. | Chris McCullough photo

Milk pasteurising and coagulation processes happen in the same tank, thus saving equipment cost, space and user’s time. Both the agitation paddle and the cutters can also be removed for easier cleaning.

The system on display incorporated the main pasteuriser unit with a 200 litre capacity, a control panel and a cooling unit, together costing around $15,000.

However, larger sizes of 300 litres to 1,000 litres are also available.

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