In today’s high tech dairy farming world a lot of focus is on gathering and using data from the herd to improve production and efficiencies.
And that was exactly the theme for Dutch dairy equipment expert Lely during its latest Future Farm Days event hosted online where the company unveiled its latest concepts that they see will project dairy farming into the next level.
Lely has been on a long journey with its robotic systems and has sold 10,000 of the popular Astronaut A5 robotic milking systems worldwide.
Back in 2018, the company launched its Orbiter on-farm milk processing system and currently has three in use on Dutch farms.
Now Lely has taken another leap into the future and has introduced a new system of harvesting and feeding fresh grass to cows.
Plus, it has also launched a new manure system that utilises more nutrients from the slurry and a new decision-support platform.
Lely CEO Andre van Troost says the farms of the future will be completely robotised, operational 24/7 and are based on the principle of allowing cows to move freely, so they can behave naturally with excellent welfare guaranteed.
“We live in a rapidly changing world where the population continues to grow. We desperately need farmers, because we expect the demand for food to increase by 70 per cent by 2050,” he said.
“The impact of farming on the environment is also coming under increasing scrutiny, and regulations are becoming stricter. Dairy farmers, therefore, have to change the way they work to guarantee their future.”
All these elements are part of the Lely vision of the farm of the future, incorporating circularity in dairy farming where valuable nutrients are reused, waste is limited, and the emissions of harmful substances are reduced to a minimum.
Lely Exos harvests grass by itself
The Lely Exos concept is the first fully autonomous system for harvesting and feeding fresh grass in the barn during the growing season and in conjunction with grazing if need be.
The main goal is to harvest fresh grass in fields up to 1 kilometre away from the farm to increase the nutritional value of the roughage in the cows’ diet more efficiently, therefore producing more milk from grass.
The Exos is an electric powered machine using GPS to travel to the fields to autonomously mow, load and dispense grass to the cows in the barns.
Exos can harvest and provide fresh grass to the cows 24 hours a day saving time and labour for the farmer.
Lely says this completely new approach to grass was an opportunity to redesign mowing and harvesting technology.
The low weight and soil-friendly technology of this machine mean it can mow from early spring to late autumn.
The Exos can operate in tandem with the Lely Vector automatic feeding system and constantly monitors the percentage of fresh grass in the ration.
The system also collects data in the field, so that the farmer can respond immediately to the grass supply at any given moment.
The first prototypes of the Exos are already operational on test farms, where as much information as possible about the autonomous harvesting of fresh grass will be generated by extensive daily testing.
Lely is also looking at using the system to dose a specific amount of liquid fertiliser adapted to each location in conjunction with its new Sphere system.
Source: Farm Online