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Automation is not just about milking
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Automation is not just about milking

GEA have been finding new ways to help farmers reduce costs and still produce the same high-quality product

There are certain crucial jobs on farm that must be done regularly to keep your cows healthy and the milk flowing

Once the daily rations are mixed, they’re often fed out twice a day and pushed up several times. Regularly timed push-ups are greatly beneficial to the cow and her milk production. Continual access promotes smaller regular feeds and a stable rumen instead of fewer bulk or binge feeds which are detrimental acid loading. Improved rumen stability optimises the feeds nutritional value and ultimately provides more, better quality milk. Regular feed push-ups may take only few minutes each, but it can be hard to make sure timings are kept consistent and other jobs could take priority. So what’s the solution?

GEA FRone automated feed pusher offers time-saving technology that can ultimately help you to increase your milk yield and quality

It can operate for up to 15 hours a day, pushing up feed on set routes, easily planned by you. The robot will take itself back to the charge station when it requires charging before setting off back on its route again. Once installed, it can save you up to 90 hours a year on feed pushing, even working through the night to ensure the cows have a constant access to feed. This helps to increase feed intakes, in turn would contribute to higher milk yields of 1 - 3 %. With a payback time of 3 to 5 years, the GEA FRone gets to work immediately to save you time and do the job it was built for.

Mullerup encourages our herds to eat that little extra dry matter which has great benefits

Not only to milk yield and components but also to health and fertility, with GEA Mullerup systems farmers can reduce the traditional input costs like diesel, labour and waste from overfeeding. Providing freshly mixed feed more often encourages higher intakes and as the system is railed it won’t be contaminating the feed with mud and slurry from wheeled models giving your herd the very best feed every time.

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Justin Birch - South West Dairy Development Centre - GEA MullerUp MixFeeder WIC system comissioned 2018, feeding 160 cows

"Our GEA MullerUp MixFeeder WIC system was installed 2 years ago, we’ve had it from day one here at the farm and have found it to provide both us and the cows with many benefits. We have 3 bunkers and molasses providing our feed mixtures to the MixFeederThe system allows us flexibility and accuracy in feeding the cows in groups and to tailored diets for their lactation stage and nutritional requirements. This function also helps with any research and projects that require differing diets and groups and gives peace of mind that the diets are mixed to the exact measurements requiredThe ability to provide the cows with fresh feed throughout the day, rather than two main feeds and push ups has allowed for natural behaviour within the herd. The cows know that there is always food available so feel no pressure to rush to feed outs. We’ve seen higher feed intakes than we initially expected from the herd from this system too. This is the perfect fit with our robot system. I’ve been asked by many that if I were setting up a farm again and I could only take one of our three GEA key technologies (Robots, Manure scraper and MullerUp) which would I take? It would have to be the GEA MullerUp due to all the above benefits and ability to fit into any system." 

The installing dealer and service provider for the GEA MullerUp system at the South West Dairy Development Centre is RMS Devizes.  

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Philip Omerod - Pasture House Farm, North Yorkshire GEA MixFeeder and bunkers commissioned 2014, feeding 2000 goats

“We immediately saw a big saving in time, from 3hrs to half an hour a day. Before we were feeding once a day, now it’s four times daily - it’s taken all the pressure off our work load. Previously we had to feed at a regular  time in the morning, but if other things were going on that became a pressure point. Now if we know we’ve a busy day we can load the bunkers the evening before ready for the next day. With the automated system we can feed every group a different ration according to yield, body condition or state of pregnancy. We have less wastage, we’re achieving less feed per litre, animal scours associated with nutrition have disappeared, our goats are healthier and bullying and competition at the feed fence has stopped. Energy usage with the system is only 50% of that used by our former diet feeder. Increasing herd numbers by 50 or 500, is no problem, it only takes a few extra minutes to add more feed in the bunkers. Since having the system we’ve just forgotten about it! We attend to it for 30 minutes in the morning, and that’s it. This is the best machinery investment we’ve ever made on our farm. We’ve never had a piece of machinery that was such good value."

The installing dealer and service provider for the GEA MullerUp system at the Pasture House Farm is Pennine Farm Services.

Bryan Purdy - Crossroads Farm, Northern Ireland - GEA MixFeeder and feed bunkers commissioned 2008, feeding 350 cows

"Having previously used a mixer wagon twice a day to feed the herd and milking three times a day is labour intensive so automating feeding has relieved the pressure. I saw the benefits that the cows would receive fresh feed at regular intervals, it’s simple enough for non-skilled labour to use, reduced running costs compared to using a tractor and feeder wagon and less wear and tear on the concrete. I chose the Mullerup system because the rail installation meant we could fit the system into our existing central feed passage and outside the building. The MixFeeder also allows me to feed different groups of cows at different times of day. The system has worked over 30,000 hours and battery capacity is still at 100%, I don’t really think about it, it just does the job for me. In the last eight years we have only needed to fit two bearings and changed one small gear system, all of which we have done ourselves.”

Neil Saunders - Nottingham University, Loughborough GEA MixFeeder and SmartFeeder commissioned 2003, feeding 50 cows

“The reason the university invested in automatic feeding was to reduce labour, improve feeding accuracy as well as showcasing ourselves as using the latest cutting edge technology. We previously used a mixer wagon but now It is possible to feed more cows in a shorter amount of time as the individual weighing of forage components is now done by the system, our individual weigh cells on each feed bin, double checks the Mullerup system and we can see that it feeds within 5% of accuracy at any one time, the SmartFeeder, allows for dosing out to our multiple groups of animals which is ideal for our specialist research needs. A key feature of the system is that whilst the Smart Feeder is delivering feed to bins, the mix feeder can be mixing the next diet, halving the time required to feed each group of cows.”

The servicing dealer for the GEA MullerUp system at Nottingham Univertsity is Griffins Dairy Equipment.  

BENEFITS AT A GLANCE

• Automated, simple and efficient feeding management

• Precise and customised group feeding

• Intelligent feeding route calculation

• Best animal health with fully utilised performance potential

• Flexible working environment with efficient, time-saving work processes

• Interactive control and management via barn computer or wagon touchscreen panel

• Maximum information availability through status overview via smartphone

• Minimised residual feed

• Declining animal treatment costs

• Reduction of working time and personnel costs

• Maximised milk yields with optimised quality

• Unsurpassed low power consumption

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