This year’s Dairy Event and Livestock Show see exhbitors go head to head for the RABDF machinery and equipment award as well as the Prince Philip Award. David Cousins take a look at the finalists.
RABDF Livestock Machinery and Equipment Award entries
Kitt Kraiburg Porca mat for dry sow housing
Rubber surfaces in lying and walking areas are well established in dairy farming but the Porca mat from German manufacturer Kraiburg represent the first serious development within the pig farming industry, says the company.
It is genuinely bite-resistant, and the low-abrasion surface combined with a rigid edge means it is very effective at deterring damage. It is also soft, comfortable and slip- resistant, giving sows the confidence to lie down, stand and move around easily, as well as displaying natural behavioural characteristics.
This is a brand new product that is still undergoing farm trials in the UK and Europe, but results to date are encouraging, says the company.
Cost is from £50/sq m.
SAC Total Integrated Management (TIM)
TIM is an integrated management system from Danish milking robot maker SAC that combines management, the process software of the latest milking robot and the electronic software.
So the farmer now needs just a single screen and one program for all the management information coming from the milking parlour – in the past he has had to deal with three or four software programs that run simultaneously.
According to the company, the TIM system gives the farmer real-time information from whatever part of the farm he wants. The system is already integrated into the new version of the RDS Futureline milking robot and will be integrated into existing equipment in 2012.
Cost is €115,000 for a single milking box and €175,000 for a double box.
Dairy Spares battery-powered dehorner
The French-made Horn’up dehorner from Shropshire firm Dairy Spares uses a latest-generation NiMh battery to heat the element to 700°C in just one second. So dehorning takes just seven seconds per horn and the blood vessels around the bud are cauterised, leaving the bud to die rather than having to be removed.
Once positioned firmly over the horn bud, the Horn’up is switched on and held still for three to four seconds before rotating through 90° first to the left and then to the right.
The process is much less stressful for the animal than traditional dehorning methods, says the company. Cost of the unit is £249.
Milfos International iPUD
The iPUD (Platform Universal Device) from NZ maker Milfos is aimed at rotary milking parlours and does a number of jobs that save labour and costs. It acts as a leg separator to keep the cow’s legs apart, making it easier to attach the clusters. It also has an alignment support that attaches to the long milk tube and is said to give perfect cluster alignment.
There’s also a pre- and post-milking teat-sprayer incorporated that is linked into the cluster remover to give automatic spraying of the teats.
The system also has a heads-down display that alerts the operator to any exceptional animals and a mastitis lens is incorporated to illuminate the udder and operator area and highlight mastitis clumps in the milk.
Cost is £390-£400 per cluster.
Trioliet Shifttronic two-speed gearbox
Starting up a big mixer wagon – typically those with capacities from 18-30cu m – puts a lot of strain on both the mixer’s driveline and the tractor’s pto. So Dutch firmTrioliet has developed a new two-speed gearbox which automatically shifts – without interruption – from its start-up speed to the higher mixing speed.
The result, says the company, is substantially lower fuel use, quicker start-up and less maintenance. It also means that a smaller tractor can be used with the mixer.
The new gearbox is suitable for all Trioliet mixer wagons from 18-30cu m.
The most innovative aspect of Dutch firm Lely’s latest milking robot – the Astronaut A4 – is the I-Flow walkthrough design of the cow box. This allows the cow to walk straight in and out of the box without encountering any obstacles.
By moving the trough out of the way after milking, the cow has a clear, unobstructed exit from the robot unit. A faster exit means a quicker entrance for the next cow, improving throughput.
The improved capacity of the milking robot also means more milk in the long term, since animals with lower stress are better able to express their natural genetic potential.
Galebreaker ventilation light ridge
This is designed to be an active system that gives good ventilation for dairy and livestock buildings, potentially improving herd health and performance and reducing disease, says UK maker Galebreaker.
It is made from extruded aluminium, galvanised steel and toughened PVC, making it strong and light. The PVC panels are snow-load tested and translucent and the ridge comes with side wind plates that create a venturi effect, actively drawing stale and moist air from the building.
There are no servicing requirements and the ridge costs £95/linear metre (1m wide), £125/linear metre (2m wide) and £150/linear metre (3m wide.)
The RABDF Prince Philip Award
The RABDF Prince Philip Award is presented to the most practical, relevant and best presented technical stand holder exhibit at the event.
Exhibitor and entry
* BOCM Pauls – Visiolac
* Dairy Spares – Cow Cam Online
* Ecolab – Hoofsmart Bath
* GBR Industries/Galebreaker Products – Galebreaker Ventilation Light Ridge
* GEA Farm Technologies – UVPure – Calf Milk Purifier
* Kitt Kraiburg – The Kitt Sandsaver Bed
* Lely – I-Flow
* SAC NL – Total Integrated Management (TIM)
* The Dairy Group – Parlour Manager
* Trioliet – Shifttronic 2-speed Reduction Gearbox
* Zintec Feed Supplements – Rumi’System