Our Farm Management Support specialists continuously investigate how to improve the milking process even further. They do this by running tests in the barn while using our customers’ knowledge of the Lely barn solutions. In this way they gain valuable insights, which help you to manage your dairy farm more efficiently and profitably.
Feed to need, analyze the pit
Rations must match cows’ needs. High-producing cows require a different ration than dry cows. Therefore farmers need to know exactly what they are feeding their cows. A correct understanding of roughage build-up and pit analyses can help farmers to optimize feed management, one of the basic requirements for healthy cows.
Effect of Vector on cows’ behavior
The study was built up out of two parts. The first part was a camera setup before and after the start-up with the Vector. Out of this research the eating, laying and waiting behavior is analyzed before and after start-up. The second part of the research included a data analysis on milk production, number of milkings and refusals, activity, rumination and weight. Again this part compared the data before and after start-up. Following three outcomes we would like to discuss: rumination, visit behavior at the feed fence and activity.
Management, Cow health
Drying off the dairy cow
The dry period is the most important phase of a dairy cow’s lactation cycle. During this phase, the cow and her udder are prepared for the next lactation; hence any abnormalities during the dry period will have a negative effect on the cow’s health and milk production after calving.
Drinking behavior in dairy cows
Water plays a key role in milk production, control of body temperature and many other body functions in dairy cattle. While feed and ration management are generally monitored in detail, water intake, availability and quality are often overlooked. Cows consume around 4-4.5 liters of water per kg of milk produced and drinking water can satisfy 80-90% of a dairy cow’s total water needs. Generally, cows only drink in short bouts (7-12 times a day) during which they consume a total of between 10 to 20 liters of water. In particular, cows prefer to drink after milking and during feeding. This behavior is clearly seen in herds, where cows will go to drink after visiting the robot.
Crosswalk for cows
Dairy farmers Marente and Jaap Hupkes from Voorst, the Netherlands are rewarded with €1000,- by ‘Het Innovatiefonds Farmers for Farmers (IFFF, ‘The innovation fund Farmers for Farmers’) for their breakthrough innovation. The Dutch fund is an initiative from ForFarmers B.V., a producer and supplier of feed for cattle.
Management, Grazing, T4C & InHerd
Cows adapt quickly to grazing
In 2013 Lely Farm Management Support commenced a research study involving 500 Dutch Astronaut farmers. 200 of these farmers put their cows to out to graze. Most of them− 40%−opened the barn doors in May. The study analyzed the effect of introducing grazing. A comparison was made between the month prior to the start of grazing, in which the cows were still indoors and the month in which grazing was introduced. The first month after the cows started to go to the pasture was also taken into account.