Lely Juno, Luxury or Economy?

Since its launch in 2008, the Lely Juno has sold more than 2,300 units worldwide. Despite the fact that these Junos are increasing milk yield every day and saving farmers hours of work they are still often perceived as a luxury product. Is this really the case? To discover the truth, Lely Farm Management Support conducted an international survey which will be discussed in this article.

Management, Feeding

Survey Range, Scope & Setup

The survey was sent to 100 Juno users in Germany, France and the Netherlands and placed online for customers that do not use the Juno. 16 Dutch Juno salespeople were also interviewed. In addition to the surveys and interviews, ten farms using a Lely Juno were monitored over a four-week period. The first two weeks the Lely Juno was set to push feed three times a day and the second two weeks it was set to push feed ten times a day.

Results survey

Results from the survey showed that around 95% of customers were happy with their Juno. When customers were asked about their reasons for buying it, only 5% mentioned cost savings. They said that the Lely Juno saved them 28 minutes/day on average. These findings are quite similar to those of a study conducted by Jack Rodenburg in Ontario, Canada, where farmers said they spend 26 minutes/day on feed pushing.

In contrast to this, 83% of customers who did not use the Juno said they only spend 0-15 minutes/day on feed pushing. 31% of the non-Juno customers is considering buying a Lely Juno when their current system needs to be replaced, but most non-Juno customers think that the Lely Juno has not enough advantages, is too expensive and has a too long payback time.

Results of field research

Results from the field research showed an increase of 0.39L/cow/day during the second two weeks where feed pushing was set to ten times instead of three times/day (see picture 1). Milk production results per farm also showed that on some farms pushing feed three times a day could be sufficient when there are enough feed places per cow. Other parameters were not significantly changed in this research.


Picture 1: results of field trial 10x feed pushing vs 3x feed pushing.

More milk

The Juno ensures there is always feed in front of the cows and this enables heifers and other low-ranked cows to eat sufficient feed at the feed fence. Farmers don’t have the mental and physical pressure of pushing the feed, as it is done automatically for them. Pushing feed several times per day increases the milk yield. Research shows an average increase of 0.39L/cow/day which equals $4593 more income annually if we assume 100 dairy cows, 305 day production and a milk price of $0.39.

Labor savings

If we calculate that using the Juno saves 25 minutes a day on average, this adds up to 152 hours annually. Or in other words, using the Juno saves $2520 each year on labor costs.($16.80/hour rate).

Fuel savings

If we assume that an average tractor uses 9.75 liters fuel/hour, farmers can potentially save 1500 liters annually. A Lely Juno runs on electricity and consumes around 500kWh/year.

Conclusion

The research shows us that the Lely Juno is not just a luxury product. It definitely increases milk yield (0.39L/cow/day) and has a positive influence on the low-ranked animals in the herd. It also saves on physical labor and fuel. When the increased milk production is taken into account, payback time is around one to two years.

Lely Farm Management Support

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