Smart farming

Background

Many dairy innovations at EuroTier 2018

At the upcoming EuroTier, there are many new products and solutions for dairy farmers on display. Some have won an innovation medal and some or just worth sharing. Here is Dairy Global’s pick of what feed experts can look out for in Hannover.

Innovative bypass energy concentrate

Fanon in cooperation with GFT - Gesellschaft für Tierernährung mbH: Hall 20, stand B29 (silver medal EuroTier)

The energy supply of dairy cows, especially in the first third of lactation, can only be ensured by concentrated feed that does not burden the rumen digestion. The feed supplement Rupiol Sunline can provide protein and energy in the small intestine in rumen-protected form and subsequently can serve as an alternative to the use for palm oil. By using a new processing technique, a product was created that contains highly digestible nutrients, sulphated amino acids and an outstanding fat quality. The product is already being used and tested on dairy farms.

Next generation touchscreen system

Dairymaster: Hall 13, stand B23 (silver medal EuroTier)

The shorter the milking time, the shorter dairy cows have to stand in the collection area prior to milking – a proven factor for reduction of lameness, and with it greater animal welfare. On farms with a milking carousel, the duration of milking is in turn dependent on the running speed of the carousel. This is not easy to optimise, even for experienced milkers. This especially applies when a cow has to be treated during milking, which often makes it necessary to stop the carousel. For its ‘Dairymaster Mission Control’, the Irish milking technology manufacturer puts its trust in a next-generation touchscreen system. The OptiCruise System is integrated in the Dairymaster Mission Control which, based on the milking history of each individual cow recognised, then it calculates the milk quantity to be expected and offsets it with the remaining milking time of the cows already being milked in the carousel. By using artificial intelligence and corresponding mathematical models, the carousel speed is optimised with self-learning.

Beter adhesive bonding for hoof blocks.

Albert Kerbl: Hall 11, stand D43 (silver medal EuroTier)

Two-component adhesives are often used to fasten hoof blocks in hoof care. Their curing speed is, however, highly dependent on the ambient temperature which, in particular at low temperatures in winter, leads to poorer adhesive bonding qualities with a simultaneous increase in the treatment and working times. In the Heatbox from Kerbl, which consists of 2 chambers, the adhesives can now be optimally tempered to a constant 20°C. The adhesive cures more quickly and considerably shortens the treatment duration and improves the durability of the blocks on the hoof.

The Heatbox from Albert/ Kerbl. Photo: Albert Kerbl GmbH
The Heatbox from Albert/ Kerbl. Photo: Albert Kerbl GmbH

Augmented reality and reproduction management

Nedap: Hall 17, stand F18 and Hall 13, stand C56 (silver medal EuroTier)

While data acquisition for individual animals via sensors and digital measuring tools has long since become a part of everyday life in many dairy cattle barns, the availability of these data for daily work in the barn is often still in its infancy. Farmers therefore often help themselves with printouts; these tables are regularly confusing or difficult to read. With CowControl, Nedap makes augmented reality available in the barn for the first time. Based on an app, the user is provided with herd information directly in the barn. The new technology combines the real world of farmers with digital information such that their position and line of sight are detected and integrated in animal-related data on fertility, health or the location of certain animals in the camera image.

The CowControl from Nedap. Photo: Nedap
The CowControl from Nedap. Photo: Nedap

Electronic milk quantity measuring system

Nedap: Hall 17, stand F18 and Hall 13, stand C56 (silver medal EuroTier)

A continuous milk quantity acquisition has been standard in dairy cattle farming for many years now. However, electronic milk quantity measuring systems had several design weaknesses up until now: On the one hand, the sensors reduced the cross-section of the milk line and, on the other, the electronic components and cable connections were prone to faults. With the Smartflow, the Dutch manufacturer Nedap puts a further development in the area of milk measuring systems on the market that has been decisively improved in the points named. The system is designed to be completely wireless, i.e. both with regard to data transfer and in view of the power supply. The data are transferred via a UHF radio connection, enabling an especially fast and simple data integration.

Easy feeding of colostrum

Martin Förster: Hall 12, stand C31a (silver medal EuroTier)

The All-In-One Colostrum Feeder from Martin Förster GmbH now combines major innovative developments for the initial provision of newborn calves with first milk. The innovative basic unit consisting of a special hexagonal container is equipped with a lid with a handle and a teat for drinking. A central innovative special feature of this product is the possibility of freezing the container equipped with the described stainless-steel spiral tube in a space-saving manner for colostrum storage in order to gently and simply thaw the drinker as required.

The All-In-One Colostrum Feeder from Martin Förster GmbH. Photo: Jens Hagen
The All-In-One Colostrum Feeder from Martin Förster GmbH. Photo: Jens Hagen

New feed ingredient for rumen re-development

Palital: Hall 3, stand B32

Feed additive company Palital will launch Rumen-Ready at EuroTier. This feed ingredient is specifically designed to stimulate rumen re-development in dairy cows during the transition period. After calving, the rumen is often not ready to handle extra feed. Rumen wall stimulation is therefore key. Often, a butyrate formulation in the form of calcium or sodium salt is used for this. However, the cows cannot handle any extra calcium or sodium. Rumen-Ready is therefore based on magnesium butyrate, that becomes available in the rumen without the need for digestive enzymes. It supplies extra magnesium, which helps to prevent milk fever in the transition period.

Rumen bolus to measure what is happening in the cow

SmaXtec animal care: Hall 11, stand C20 (silver medal EuroTier)

SmaXtec 360 is a further development of the rumen bolus already commended in 2010 with a wireless pH and temperature probe. The bolus enables almost life-long progress monitoring of physiologic behavioural patterns of feed and water consumption, rumination, rumen motility, movement activity as well as the heart rate of the carrier animal. Due to the completely revised operating principle, the smaXtec 360-Bolus positioned in the reticulum has a service life of 4 years. The developers expect the newer generation to last longer than 5 years. The bolus can therefore help farmers to manage their cows through their lactations more quickly and in better health.

Fully automatic feed removal in the bunker silo

Wasserbauer, Hall 12, stand D22 (silver medal EuroTier)

With the ‘NANO’ feeding concept, Wasserbauer has developed an autonomous feeding system for cattle. It consists of the Shuttle Eco manoeuvrable, an automatically moving feeding robot and the new, unique lift for fully automatic feed removal in the bunker silo. The feeding robot moves freely and is routed via magnets in the ground. As a result, it can easily be used in several barns and can move to several silos. In the silo the Shuttle Eco feeding robot is filled with the direct, fully automatic lift, an intelligent system comprising a milling and a blower unit.

The ‘NANO’ feeding concept from  Wasserbauer. Photo: Wasserbauer
The ‘NANO’ feeding concept from Wasserbauer. Photo: Wasserbauer

New sealed cow mattress ready to launch

Huber Technik, Hall 12, stand C49

German company Huber Technik is poised to launch a new design cow mattress at EuroTier which has a unique sealing structure at both ends of the top cover. The HT 8GS Wings mattress consists of a thick foam mat which is totally enclosed in a transparent plastic sheet which is then covered by a rubber top cover that has formed seals at both ends. Measuring 8mm thick and 1.8m wide the top cover rolls out along the cubicles to cover the underlying foam, which is available in either 30mm or 40mm thick.

The recommended retail price for the new system is € 68 per square metre for the 30mm foam mat option or € 73 per square metre for the thicker 40mm option. Both the foam mat and the top cover are covered by a 10 year warranty.

Electric silage feeder

Siloking, Hall 25, stand L05g and Hall 27, stand F40

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.

It has 2 speed options reaching up to 10km per hour or up to 20km per hour and will run for 2 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 2 load capacities; 3.6 or 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% capacity. The list price of the 3.6 cubic metres machine is € 49,600 plus VAT.

The eSilokamm from Siloking. Photot: Alexander Skovajsa
The eSilokamm from Siloking. Photot: Alexander Skovajsa

Early mastitis detection tool

GEA, Hall 13, stand D42 and Hall 26, stand A06h

GEA has claimed it has developed the world’s first real-time system for early detection of mastitis in each quarter of the udder. The company says its DairyMilk M6850 uses a robust, purely physical and patented measuring method, the EPT principal, Electrical Permittivity Threshold, and is particularly low-maintenance, reliable and comes out without any consumables. This product is part of the product portfolio for automatic milking at GEA and can be installed in both DairyProQ and Monobox systems. Existing systems can be retrofitted with the new sensor technology using an upgrade kit.

The DairyMilk M6850 from GEA. Photo: GEA
The DairyMilk M6850 from GEA. Photo: GEA

New variable length slurry pump

GEA, Hall 13, stand D42 and Hall 26, stand A06h

A new slurry pump that suits all pits as it can adjust to varying lengths has been developed by GEA. Its Super Slider Pump is a new 8-inch, adjustable-length, highly-versatile manure pump, specifically designed for use by dairy, pig and beef farmers with multiple pits and by contractors. It is available in 2 depth ranges; 8ft to 12ft (2.44m to 3.66m) and 10ft to 16ft (3.05m to 4.88m). The sliding feature of the pump frame means that 1 pump can replace 2 or 3 other pumps, thereby reducing costs and increasing efficiency. The Super Slider Pump is equipped with GEA’s exclusive dual nozzle design, enabling better and safer manure pit management.

Weighing calves forms vital part of herd management

Holm & Laue, Hall 26, stand D07a and Hall 13, stand D03

Less than 12% of farmers weigh their calves regularly during the milk diet phase therefore the majority have no idea if the animals are achieving their daily weight gain goals of 800 to 1000g. German calf equipment specialists Holm & Laue are encouraging farmers to weigh their calves often to ensure they are reaching growth goals for optimum herd performance in later life. The company has developed WeightControl, which is a mobile weighing scale that not only determines the calf’s weight but also allows other data to be stored particular to each animal. This new system is based on 2 different types of animal scales combined with electronic animal identification and an additional input terminal. All the data is not only saved in the WeightControl animal scale but also transmitted automatically to the company’s CalfGuide management program. The cart option with software costs € 4,000 plus VAT and the static weigh scales cost € 2,000 plus VAT.

The WeightControl from Holm & Laue. Photo: Sebastian Weimar
The WeightControl from Holm & Laue. Photo: Sebastian Weimar

Reinventing the traditional feeding bucket

Calf-Tel, Hall 12, stand D06

Amidst all the high tech gadgets at EuroTier it is somewhat refreshing to see a simple product that has such huge desirability. US firm Calf-Tel has gone that extra yard to reinvent the calf feeding bucket and has created one that is virtually indestructible. You can even drive a tractor over it and the bucket simply springs back into shape. Remember all those annoying handles that fell off? The new Direct-Attach Pail from Calf-Tel has no handle and simply attaches to a gate or door with its moulded lip. The new bucket has rounded bottom edges to allow the calves to lick it clean reducing bacteria. It is also designed to sit at an angle giving the animals better access. The bucket, available in black or grey colour, holds 7.5 litres and is made from co-polymer polypropylene. Each bucket will cost € 8 plus VAT with discounts available on bulk purchase.

The new Direct-Attach Pail from Calf-Tel. Photo: Calf-Tel
The new Direct-Attach Pail from Calf-Tel. Photo: Calf-Tel

New edition Solomix feeder

Trioliet: Hall 27, stand E25

A new series of Solomix diet feeders is being introduced at EuroTier by Dutch manufacturer Trioliet aimed at large dairy herds of over 180 cows.

The new Solomix 3 machines have a capacity of 27, 30 and 34 cubic metres and are being developed in addition to the current series of Trioliet 3 auger mixer feeders. The Solomix 3 New Edition series is a low profile machine which is easier to load and suits low sheds. The models are available with a number of discharge options; side doors, conveyor belt at front or (adjustable) chain conveyor at front. Prices for the new Solomix 3 Series start at € 68,000 for the smaller model.

The new Solomix 3 machines from Trioliet. Photo: Trioliet
The new Solomix 3 machines from Trioliet. Photo: Trioliet

New handheld thermometer designed to monitor animal health

Urban: Hall 12, stand B02 (silver medal EuroTier)

One of the silver medal winners at EuroTier is a handheld thermometer developed by German calf product specialist Urban. VitalControl is a hand-held device for measuring body temperature via the rectum and comes with an integrated keypad and a high-contrast colour screen. During routine calf inspections, farmers can use VitalControl to scan the animal number from the transponder and measure its body temperature. The device will classify the result into a green, yellow or red status category. The waterproof device has a powerful rechargeable battery and data interfaces for transferring the data to a computer or an automatic feeder. It is estimated the cost of this tool will be over € 1,000.

3D image analysis to measure cows

dsp-Agrosoft GmbH in cooperation with Data Service Paretz GmbH (DSP) (silver medal EuroTier): Hall 26, stand C15 and A06f and Hall 20, stand D26a

The automatic 3D image analysis system from dsp-Agrosoft GmbH is used for the objective, contactless measurement of moving dairy cows, and therefore avoids unnecessary stress situations caused by fixation or other measures. The body condition (cow condition score) and the gait pattern (cow movement score) are recorded after each milking process. Especially in larger herds, this enables abnormalities to be detected and measures (for example hoof care) to be introduced quickly.

Time savings with new milking equipment

DeLaval International: Hall 13, stand D25 (silver medal EuroTier)

The regular replacement of the teat rubber is tedious and requires an amount of time which should not be underestimated. For this reason, the Swedish manufacturer of milking technology DeLaval is introducing the new milking equipment DeLaval Evanza™. The decisive further development of this milking equipment lies in the fact that the teat rubbers and the teat cups are combined in a cartridge system in it, which results in remarkable time savings. The milk flow rate increased demonstrably by up to 9.3%. At the same time, the preliminary set-up time decreases by up to 7%. The teats are objectively treated more gently and better handling of the milking equipment was especially emphasised among milkers. Furthermore, it is possible to reuse the cartridges in a circulation system.

the new milking equipment DeLaval Evanza™. Photo: Björn Qvarfordt
the new milking equipment DeLaval Evanza™. Photo: Björn Qvarfordt

Smart closing mechanism of feed fences

Spinder Dairy Housing Concepts in cooperation with Craftworks (silver medal EuroTier): Hall 12, stand B18

AutoLift is an intelligent gate control system that simplifies cow traffic. The sensor controlled system can be placed at all major gates along the daily walking paths of the animals, to and from the milking parlour. Sensors detect the current opening position of the gates and manage the switching states on a server. With a related app the employees responsible for cow traffic can survey all opening states of the gates on their smart phones in real time. Then they can control certain gates immediately and individually, or can temporarily change the administration of several gates for certain livestock groups or alter the passage height, e.g. for tractors, without having to be near the gate.

Smart thermometer for early detection diseases

Förster-Technik: Hall 13, stand E11 and Hall 26, stand A06g (silver medal EuroTier)

The Smart Thermometer developed by Förster electronically records the rectally measured body temperature of calves and cattle. The data can be passed on to the Förster Technical Calf Cloud via a connection to the SmartHealth app. With the app additional health parameters, such as the ear position, nasal discharge, eye condition and a faeces evaluation, can be acquired. The Calf Cloud enables integration in the Förster Smart Calf System. The temperature and the evaluation results can be made accessible to the veterinarian or the farm consultant online via the Calf Cloud.

The Smart Thermometer developed by Förster. Photo: Förster
The Smart Thermometer developed by Förster. Photo: Förster

Comfort safety self-locking headlocks

Ing. Bräuer Stalltechnik: Hall 17, stand D35a (silver medal EuroTier)

Ordinary safety self-locking headlocks frequently offer an insufficient safety outlet in the lower area of the feed fence. When attempting to also reach the last remains of the feed provided or when animals have fallen or are unable to get up, they are constricted in the neck area. The noises of moving swinging bars are an additional stress factor. With the comfort safety self-locking headlock from Bräuer, the horizontal position of the swinging bar mounting and the swinging unit is shifted, resulting in a considerably larger safety outlet over the entire height and an animal-friendly opening width of 36cm. In addition to unhindered access, this also enables a considerably greater freedom of movement for the cow during feeding and easier freeing of stuck cows by the farmer. In the catch position, a neck width of 21cm is reached by shifting the swinging bar, enabling safe fixation for animal inspection, treatments and insemination.

Next level hoof care

Schippers: Hall 16, stand C08, Hall 11, stand B20 and Hall 17, stand F55 (silver medal EuroTier)

Disturbances and/or illnesses in hoof health involve long-term problems in animal welfare and ultimately in the productivity of the dairy cow. The earlier emerging hoof problems are recognised, the easier it is possible to treat the hoof at the right point in time. With the MS Corundum, Schippers GmbH has created an innovative system for the preventative monitoring and simultaneous analysis of the hoof model. Via the driving-out area off the milking parlour, the milk cow reaches a selection gate with animal identification. Animals which were milked shortly before are separated via the selection door and routed to the MS Hoof Scan. While the cow is standing in a layer of water, the hoofs are examined from below in the Hoof Scan with ultrasound, and at the same time the weight of the cow is detected via an integrated weighing system. An automatic analysis system evaluates acquired information and detects deviations. After the next visit to the milking parlour, conspicuous dairy cows are routed via an additional separation into a room in which they can be treated in a hoof care box.

Lely innovations

Lely: Hall 13, stand B42 and Hall 26, stand A06m.

Milking robot manufacturer Lely will showcase a range of innovations at the EuroTier. One is the possibility to dose non-pelletized feed in the Astronaut milking robot. The option is called 'Commodity feeder' and can result in huge savings on feed costs for robot milkers. Lely also developed the DairyWise farm management optimisation program. With this step Lely expands their Farm Management Support services. Also new is the Lely Orbiter, an innovative system to process milk directly from the milking robots to the bottle. The company will also showcase the improved mixing and feeding robot (MFR) for the Lely Vector feeding system. The system is now even more focused on improving animal health. A better distribution of the knives and the constant rotational speed of the auger means the ration is now consistently mixed and balanced. This increases feed intake and reduces the herd's ability to select feed. A magnet has also been added to the MFR to remove metal particles from the feed.

Dairy Global to organise free seminar on Advanced Dairy Farming

Proagrica, publisher of Dairy Global, is organising a series of free seminars at the EuroTier. Please join our experts during the free seminars in Advanced Dairy Farming, Advanced Pig Farming, Gut Health Pigs and Gut Health Poultry, located in the room New York 2 at The Exhibition Grounds in Hannover. The events are organised on 13, 14 and 15 November. Secure your seat and register for free.

Or register to be able to comment.