Lely In the News

[Podcast] Anna Hinchley: Designing her own robot barn
August 4, 2020 | Progressive Dairy
In this episode, we hear from 22-year-old dairy farmer Anna Hinchley. Her desire to return to her family’s dairy in Cambridge, Wisconsin, after graduating prompted her parents to move forward with expanding the herd and upgrading to automated milking. Anna has been involved in every step of the barn design process. Hear about the key features of her robot barn here.

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Podcast: Lely’s Chad Huyser on Automation Innovation in Dairy Farming
July 31, 2020 | The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Huyser shares his thoughts on automation in farming today, how COVID-19 impacted the supply chain and how the future may look like as farmers transition to new automation techniques.

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Stensland speaks about organic dairy farming
July 30, 2020 | Daily Leader Extra
An Iowa dairy farmer whose family stocks some of the ice cream for two Madison retail stores spoke about his organic farming operation during a Thursday seminar held in Lake County.

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Pioneers in robotic milking
June 29, 2020 | Dairy Star
Jacob Knigge and his dad, Charlie, operate Knigge Farms with Charlie’s parents, Pete and Theo, near Omro, Wisconsin. The Knigges have been milking 120 cows with two robots for 20 years.

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Dairy Embraces Technology
June 15, 2020 | Ozarks Farm & Neighbor
Dominic Wick and his family immigrated to America from Switzerland when he was 4. He was raised on a Stilwell, Okla., dairy farm while his wife Doylena was also raised on another in central Arkansas.

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Rein Dairy Farm runs with robotics
June 8, 2020 | Fillmore County Journal
With technology running the world in a variety of ways, one typically doesn’t think about technology and farming. Robotic systems are becoming the future to feasibly allow small dairy farms to exist.

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Choose your robotic milking system wisely
June 4, 2020 | American Agriculturist
Editor’s note: Timothy Terry, farming strategic planning specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension, has compiled three stories’ worth of information on robotic milking systems based on visits to dairy farms in New York. This is the third story in the series.

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Lely North America June Dairy Month Social Media Campaign
June 4, 2020 | Hoard's Dairyman
As a way of saying thanks to dairy producers during these uncertain times, Lely North America is asking everyone to show their dairy pride by simply posting a short video or photo of them enjoying their favorite dairy product. Those who participate will have the chance to win an exclusive Lely t-shirt and the winners will be randomly selected each week.

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Find the right robotic milking system for your operation
May 8, 2020 | American Agriculturist
I was recently invited to participate in a robotic farming discussion group. The evening began with a few presentations by a robot manufacture that, surprisingly, were less about sales and more about startup and management of the systems and the cows.

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Automation aids in customized complete milking by quarter
May 6, 2020 | Progressive Dairy
When it comes to milking cows properly, three terms are commonly used: gentle, quick and complete. These terms are often in direct conflict with one another. If one wants to pursue complete milking, it is often neither quick nor gentle. If the goal is quick, complete is often left by the wayside. If gentle is the objective, it is often difficult to be complete.

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Robots show value in feed efficiency, reduced labor
April 24, 2020 | American Agriculturist
Timothy Terry, farming strategic planning specialist with Cornell Extension, has compiled three stories’ worth of information on robotic milking systems based on visits to dairy farms in New York. This is the first story in the series.

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Three words rule at Peshtigo dairy farm
April 7, 2020 | Citizen Tribune
PESHTIGO, Wis. – Three words are golden at Drees Dairy Farm – efficiency, consistency and comfort. So when the Drees family worked on a plan to expand their farm, energy efficiency was an important factor. They made a transition in 2015 from a tiestall barn to a freestall barn with tunnel ventilation and four milking robots. They also switched from single-phase to three-phase electric power with help from Wisconsin Public Service.

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Robot barns: Retrofit or build new?
March 31, 2020 | Progressive Dairy
For dairies considering robotic milking, one common question often asked is whether it is best to build a new barn or retrofit an existing one. The answer, typically, is: “It depends.” I suggest your answer be based on which scenario offers the best return on investment, meets the goals of the dairy (especially for tomorrow) and satisfies the budget.

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Honey Creek Dairy using first robotic feeding system in Iowa
March 25, 2020 | Manchester Press
While the owners of Honey Creek Dairy, west of Edgewood, are using state-of-the-art equipment for their dairy operation, they also have a solid base in cow comfort that began from generations of dairymen who farmed before them.

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Mary Chamberlain Elected to Oregon Dairy Farmers Board
March 18, 2020 | Dairy Business
Mary works at Dairylain Farms LLC alongside her husband Jason, and in-laws Warren and Lori Chamberlain in Willowcreek, outside of Vale. They currently milk 450 registered Jerseys on 8 Lely robots. Mary is primarily in-charge of young calves, along with the herd health vaccination program. When she is not at the dairy, she substitute teaches in the local school district and during the fall is the head coach of the high school Cross Country program.

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Robots milking cows
March 6, 2020 | The Neighbor
Rick Scheer talks about how his dairy uses robots to milk their cows at Scheer's Dairy Farm in New Haven, Mo. on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. Four generations of Scheers have worked at the farm that was founded in 1897. The dairy farm was the first in the state of Missouri to begin using robots to milk the cows in 2011.

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A.I. may be answer to dairy farmer woes
March 6, 2020 | WXOW 19
West Salem, Wis (WXOW) - As dairy farmers fight to survive, many are finding an edge in technology. Artificial intelligence and robotics are quickly changing the landscape of an industry in crisis.

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Wisconsin farmers, hit with a flurry of punches, seek long-term solutions
March 6, 2020 | Post Crescent
As Wisconsin farmers plant crops this spring, perched in the cabs of big tractors rolling through the fields, many will breathe a sigh of relief that they’re still in the driver's seat.

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Local dairy farmers use robotics to modernize their operations
February 28, 2020 | LNP | LancasterOnline
Dairy farmers use innovative technology like robotics to modernize and maximize efficiency. Lewis and Amy Horning discuss the dairy business and new technology.

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Vermont Farm Show Focuses on State’s Dairy Industry
February 13, 2020 | Lancaster Farming
ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. — Charlie Somers was 6 years old when he went to his first Vermont Farm Show. He is 56 now, but he still goes to the farm show annually with his mother Janice, brother Sean and Sean’s family. They live in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. The farm show is in Essex Junction — more than an hour away.

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Connecterra teams up with Lely on data sharing
February 13, 2020 | Dairy Business
Unlocking data from Lely’s T4C (Time for Cows) into Connecterra’s IDA platform will push for a more connected dairy industry that supports farmers in their decision-making.

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What type of investment should dairy producers consider making to their milking systems this year?
February 7, 2020 | Progressive Dairy
For most dairies, profits found in 2020 will likely be used to pay back debt accrued in recent years. Financial advisers also suggest using profits to grow the business or make it more efficient. Since the milking system is the most heavily used equipment on the farm, it could be an area worthy of added investment.

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How to Get Started with a Healthy Dairy
February 4, 2020 | Successful Farming
Around 35% of milk now comes from larger farms of more than 2,500 cows, with around 45% coming from small farms with less than 1,000 cows.

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Robotic transition-time tracked
February 3, 2020 | Agri-View
Another robotic-milking system was installed in fall in western Pennsylvania. Here are some notes on the initial transition from a conventional herringbone parlor to a single robot. The robot was retrofitted into a freestall barn originally built in 1996.

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Cow College tour highlights cutting-edge diverse dairy operations
January 29, 2020 | Wisconsin State Farmer
WAUPACA COUNTY – Despite the recent challenges to Wisconsin’s dairy industry, family farms continue to invest in the future of dairying.

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Editorial advisers: One Thing
January 17, 2020 | Progressive Dairy
Lynda Foster Testimonial: If I could wake up tomorrow and know everything there is to know about using, understanding and analyzing our Lely Robot’s T4C software program, I would be very happy. There is so much data available now on each cow and the whole herd that it’s mind-boggling.

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When transitioning to robots, expect the unexpected
January 17, 2020 | American Agriculturist
Editor’s note: Andrew Sandeen, a Penn State Extension dairy educator, spent several days this fall on a small dairy farm in Indiana County documenting the farm’s transition to a robotic setup. This article is a first-hand account of his visit and is meant to be an educational resource for farmers interested in transitioning to a robotic dairy setup.

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Hybrid operation leads to no debt
January 15, 2020 | Agupdate.com
GREEN BAY – Despite the mindset that farming is a risky occupation, Andy Jaworski of Green Bay was always attracted to the possibility he could make a living as a farmer. At 35 years of age he’s in the rare position of being five milk checks away from paying off his debt.

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Robots will soon milk cows at Ohio dairy farm in family since 1876
January 12, 2020 | The Columbus Dispatch
GREEN BAY – FRESNO — Bill Daugherty rises at 3 a.m. to start milking 132 cows on the farm that has been in his family since 1876.

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Robot installations expand in scope
December 15, 2019 | Agupdate.com
Installations of robotic-milking systems remain strong. And the systems are growing bigger, says Doug Reinemann, a professor in biological-systems engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A few years ago he would see farms installing two robots; now some large farms are installing as many as a dozen.

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Southwest Dairy Day spotlights stationary milking robots
November 25, 2019 | High Plains Journal
The Southwest Dairy Day was recently held at T&K Dairy, owned by the Collier family of Snyder, Texas, and the program emphasized automatic milking systems, rumination collars, robotic feed pushers, ventilation and manure management.

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Barre dairy farm is highlighted for energy efficiency
October 28, 2019 | Orleanshub.com
Mike Van Lieshout on Friday leads a tour of the family’s dairy farm on Route 98 in Barre. About 50 people from Western New York attended the tour which included representatives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, National Grid, and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

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Why we chose robots: Jenlar Holsteins and Brown Swiss
October 18, 2019 | Progressivedairy.com
Jenlar Holsteins and Brown Swiss, located near Chilton, Wisconsin, is home to 140 cows, of which 80% are Holsteins and 20% are Brown Swiss. Larry’s parents, Andy and Joan Meyer, originally bought the farm and began dairying in 1970. Together, Larry and Jennifer began growing their own herd within his parents’ facility, starting with a few animals from Jennifer’s home farm and investments in some high-end embryos and live cattle. Meanwhile, the couple worked off-farm jobs, with Larry in animal health sales and Jennifer as a dairy cattle nutritionist.

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#FridaysOnTheFarm - the Sunderland Seven
September 27, 2019 | Farmers.gov
The Sunderlands decided to change the way they work instead of shutting down. They looked to technology to help solve the labor shortage and keep their farm alive while preserving the land. Three years ago, they made the switch and installed four computer-assisted, precision-engineered robotic milking machines to milk their cows. They also built a state-of-the-art, free-stall barn that was designed for maximum ventilation and cow comfort. 

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Lely kicks off the 2019 Future of Dairy Scholarship Program
September 20, 2019 | Ag Daily
College students pursuing their career in agriculture are always on the look out for scholarships to help pay for college tuition. Lely North America is presenting the Future of Dairy Scholarship Program for the fourth year. Five qualified students residing in either Canada or the United States are chosen annually to receive a one-year, $1,000 scholarship.

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Lely North America Announces Leadership Change
September 9, 2019 | Hoard's Dairyman
Lely International and Lely North America are pleased to announce that Chad Huyser has been named Regional Director, Lely International and President, Lely North America. Huyser will lead all of Lely's North American efforts and serve as one of five Lely Regional Directors worldwide.

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Adding automation to a dairy farm
August 2, 2019 | Successful Farming
Growing with innovation and technology is how Takes Dairy near Ely, Iowa, plans to continue into the future. After winning Lely's The Way To Dairy Award, they are looking forward to transitioning to robotics as they add Lely Astronaut A5 robotic milking systems and a Lely Vector automatic feeding system.

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Smart barns on the rise
July 28, 2019 | Farm Week Now
Dairy farmers facing slim margins, and a tight labor force in some areas, are turning to robotics as an answer on a growing number of farms. Steve Sweet, senior farm management support for Lely, reported sales of the company’s Astronaut milking robot surpassed 40,000 since the commercial launch of the Astronaut in 1995.

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Robots solved labor issues, improved efficiencies at Green Waves Farm
July 19, 2019 | Progressive Dairy
The addition of automated milking at Green Waves Farm was spurred by concerns over labor and is now acclaimed for the efficiency it has brought. The automated milking systems don’t overmilk the cows, which Mark says is a big help with somatic cell count (SCC) and milk quality. They also make treatment decisions based on computer reports even if mastitis isn’t showing on CMT.

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Nigh family invests in technology on Viroqua farm
July 18, 2019 | Wisconsin State Farmer
On June 13, 2016, the Nighs had to move their cows to a neighboring farm when their facility burned. While the fire was detrimental, it opened a new door. After considering age and labor concerns, the Nighs decided to install a Lely robotic milking system.

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Robots keep production humming at Declo robotic dairy
June 28, 2019 | Idaho State Journal
Heglar Creek is one of roughly a half dozen robotic dairies that have opened in the state since the first facility went live in Elba in 2015. The partners in the new, high-tech operation have already discovered there are some areas in which people can't compare with machines.

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The future of health could be 'udderly' amazing
May 16, 2019 | Deloitte
When it comes to the future of health, it seems that cows (yes, cows!) might be a couple hoof-steps ahead of people. Fergal and Aisling have 70+ cows, a bull named Billy, and a robotic system that lets cows milk themselves…day or night. Each cow wears a radio-frequency identification (RFID)-equipped collar that triggers the milking station’s metal gate to swing open whenever she is ready to be milked.

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Robots revolutionize local dairy industry
May 7, 2019 | Local News 8
There have been a number of science fiction movies where robots take over the world. That hasn’t happened yet, but robots are taking over parts of the dairy industry with dramatic results. Nestled in the hills of Franklin, Idaho is the Hobbs Dairy Circle 7 Ranch. Owner Troy Hobbs has seen lots of technological advancements in the industry since he was a kid on this farm. Last year he invested in the most advanced technology yet -- robots.

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Pros and cons of four different robot configurations
March 25, 2019 | Progressive Dairymen
Whether you are building a new barn or retrofitting an existing structure, deciding on the proper robot layout is a critical yet enjoyable process. There are several different options and configurations to select from, but it is important the design you choose aligns with your long-term goals and management strategies.

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Robotics help dairies more closely monitor cows, address labor shortage
March 14, 2019 | MagicValley.com
Heglar Creek Dairy’s robotic barn has been up and running for three months, and the cows are already milking it for all it’s worth. They check in regularly with the Lely Astronaut milking robot, which scans their collars and dispenses treats. The dairy cows lean against automated back-scratching brushes for stress relief. And they even sleep on water beds in a climate-controlled barn. It’s one of only two dairies of its kind in southern Idaho, but the idea is catching on.

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Making grazing work with robots
March 11, 2019 | Progressive Dairyman
As automated and voluntary milking systems, more commonly referred to as robots, surge in popularity, so does the interest in using such technology in a grazing-based dairy operation. Howard Straub III, manager of the Pasture Dairy Center at Michigan State University, shared his experiences and insights on managing pastures with cows in an automated milking system in a January webinar presented by Penn State Extension’s Dairy Grazing Management Guide.

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Henschel’s new robotic barn saves labor, improves family quality of life
February 13, 2019 | Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin dairy farmers are well known for their resilience and perseverance in overcoming challenges and even adversity. Jeff and Diana Henschel, who farm in central Waupaca County, have persevered despite two barn fires in 2002, to modernize and expand their operation that now includes a new state-of-the-art robotic milking barn.

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Robots bring beneficial cost savings to Majestic Crossing Dairy
February 5, 2019 | Progressive Dairymen
Traditionally, success for automated milking has been measured by increased milk and reduced labor. One full year after starting up robots, Majestic Crossing Dairy is finding additional value in this investment through savings in hoof trimming, mastitis treatments and water use. 

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