As a farmer alongside his role at Customer Sales Support for Lely Atlantic Derrick Davies understands the current pressures within agriculture very well. Prior to joining the company he spent 25 years in farm management including having responsibility for a 300-cow dairy herd, before setting up his own beef herd which he continues to manage while also working for Lely.
“Agriculture is under huge pressure at the moment,” he says. “A lot of the challenges are with costs which we are out of our control.” In particular feed, fuel and fertiliser costs are skyrocketing and increasing the cost of production significantly. Meanwhile sourcing labour has also become a problem for many. Farmers are looking to improve efficiency in all areas, he explains.
“Lely Vector ticks all those boxes,” says Derrick. “Labour requirements are typically 20-27 hours per week to feed cows conventionally. This is to feed once a day and push feed up to the feed fence two to four times per day. The Vector however will feed multiple times a day and deliver different rations to different groups as required and keep it pushed up to the feed fence.
“A lot of farmers I speak to are not aware of what the Vector does and the full benefits it offers. It is an investment purchase of course but will save a lot of time and labour as well as ensuring accuracy and minimising food wastage.
“It will feed what you ask it within 98% accuracy rate over a 24-hour period. Inaccuracy and wastage is a cost to the business so with challenging times ahead we can’t afford to waste any feed.
“If you compare the costs of feeding cattle conventionally with a Lely Vector, taking into account fuel, labour and wastage the Vector will beat you every single time.”
Running costs for the Vector sit at £5 to £7 per day in electricity usage depending on the distances covered and number of groups served, he adds.
Derrick encourages farmers to make contact with their local Lely Center to find out more. “They can tell you more about the benefits of the Vector for your own farm set up. If you’re interested in taking it further, they will then explore the suitability of your farm.”
“We use a capacity calculator to work out exactly how the Vector would perform in each set up taking all the details into account.
Farmers are given a huge amount of support and training to understand the robot and how to make best use of the data it provides, says Derrick. “Since joining Lely I have been blown away by the Vector and how complex yet simple it is and all the benefits it can bring farmers.”
For more information and to sign up for further insights on the Lely Vector visit: www.lely.com/gb/explore-vector-system/
Don’t miss the second part of our Vector blog where Derrick explores the health and welfare benefits of automated feeding with the Lely Vector, available at: www.lely.com/gb/farming-insights/part-two-health-and-welfare-benefits-lely-vector/