When Robert Drysdale started planning his new home for StraightLine Beef, his premium, high welfare beef business in 2017, a Lely Juno was one of the first things he planned in to his budget for the farm.
The Juno was a fantastic investment
As a renowned dairy and beef consultant and qualified veterinary surgeon, Mr. Drysdale had seen the impact of a Lely Juno on several dairy farms he consults on and knew he had to have one for his beef unit. “It’s proved to have been one of the most fantastic investments and is scheduled to pay for itself within nine months having led to improved daily liveweight gains and less feed wastage together with significant reduced labour and running costs.” he explains.
“On dairy farms I work with, I saw that a Lely Juno was giving at least an additional litre per cow, per day. I know from experience that feed pushing is always the last task on anyone’s list and as soon as anything unexpected happens or we’re short of staff, it’s the first thing to be dropped. I didn’t want that to happen, so I knew I needed to do it robotically,” said Mr. Drysdale. As the farm was originally a dairy unit when purchased, Mr. Drysdale spent five months working with builders on location in Somerset converting the farm over to be suitable for the sustainable beef production unit he envisaged. As sections of the build were completed and the herd moved in to their new housing, Mr. Drysdale was able to see the results of each change made first hand.
Daily live weight gains increased
The Somerset based farm continued manually pushing feed through to November 2017, when the Lely Juno feed pusher was installed. From December 2017, all six yards accommodating 1,600 cattle in total were having their feed robotically pushed by the Juno. “We noticed the difference very quickly,” comments Mr. Drysdale. “After the Juno had been pushing the feed for a month, daily live weight gains had increased by an average 100g per head.
Robert Drysdale is a a renowned dairy and beef consultant and qualified veterinary surgeon. As part of a Nuffield Scholarship study programme, he visited 10 different countries across four continents, all the time gaining knowledge on how a successful integration model could work. On completion of his Nuffield travels, he began to form the supply chain that would become StraightLine Beef. He was convinced there was scope to improve the quality and sustainability of beef: taking oversight of the whole process, and working alongside several key partners in farming to constantly improve their production. He now runs a beef unit in Somerset in South West of England accomodating 1,600 cattle.