Fullwood launched a number of new cost and labour saving products at the event. The company extended its range of ACR units, with the entry-level MicroMatic cluster remover and the FlowMatic Plus milking controller both offering cost-effective alternatives to the company’s higher-end units. The low-cost MicroMatic cluster removal controller measures milk flow with automatic cluster removal and is suitable for low milk flows so can be used for cows, goat and sheep. The in-line free-flow sensor is in one piece with no moving parts, hence the unit is maintenance free.
The Flowmatic Plus milking controller has automatic quick cluster removal, LED indications for features such as milk flow rate and kick-off during milking and adjustable settings for operation, offering the next step up from the MicroMatic.
Fullwood’s newest in-parlour feeder, the AugerMaster II, replaces the all-steel version with fabricated plastic model and uses an inclined auger to make sure accurate ration delivery. And, because there are no traps in the delivery system, concentrate doesn’t go stale. The unit is easy to retro-fit when replacing other auger systems.
Claiming to reduce electricity use by at least 60%, Fullwood’s new range of low energy, oil-free blower-type vacuum pumps are ideally suited to variable speed operation with low-maintenance and, because they are high capacity, one pump could replace up to three conventional pumps.
The variable speed controller can be fitted to both conventional vacuum and blower pumps, meaning they will only operate to full capacity when needed, generally at washing or if there have been multiple kick-offs. This means, as wells as using less energy, there is less noise, reduced wear and tear on pumps and motors and units can be fitted to existing pumps.
Due to be launched at last years Dairy Event, Bomford’s Sila-Bed bedding and feeding-in-one concept was displayed on the company’s stand. Accepting most types and shapes of bales, the straw is fed to the front via a hydraulically driven chain and slat system, then heads into a horizontal rotor with 168 serrated knife sections. Meanwhile, it acts as a silage feeder by dispensing either baled or clamp silage, with chop length controlled by the speed of the conveyer chain. A joystick in the cab allows operators to control chute direction and deflector angle. With a spreading range of 18m, the chute angle can adjust from 72 to 127 degrees and the machine needs at least 60hp to operate. The retail price of the Sila-Bed is £13500.
Many dairy farmers are looking towards alternative feeding systems, and there is renewed interest in forage box feeders, according to Richard Western Trailers. Simpler to operate, and lower in price, the company offer a range of machines, ranging from 8 to 30cu m in capacity.
Self-propelled feeder wagons, despite being fairly common in France, Germany and Belgium, have yet to take off in the UK. That could be about to change with the introduction of the Kverneland Siloking vertical feeder range, aimed at large scale dairy or beef producers.
With a capacity of 16cu m, this self-loading 130hl four-cylinder machine uses a tricycle design, which means weight is placed over the front drive axle. Twin wheels control the steering and the machine has an impressive turning circle of 4.5m. A 2m-wide drum with 42 angled knives does the brunt of the work and a 700mm high-capacity delivers forage to the vertical, single auger mixer. Operation is single-handed via a joystick in the cab. All models come with a programmable, on-board weighing system that can store up to 99 rations and an in-cab screen showing the views of two cameras, one with a view behind for reversing and one to show what’s going on inside the mixing tub. Air suspension and 15kph, 25kph and 40kph transmission options are available. Prices range from between £100 and £130k.
In terms of cattle handling, the squeeze crush system is still quite new in the UK, but several manufacturers now import models. American Squeeze Crush Systems bring in the well-known Pearson squeeze crush, endorsed by cattle handling expert, Temple Grandin. The crush operates from 9 to 30 inches and has multiple access gates to allow cattle handlers to safely carry out tasks such as belly trimming, calf fostering, TB testing, de-horning, ear tagging and A.I. work. The theory behind the system is that animals become far calmer and more secure whilst being restrained either side. New for this year is a yoke trailer to make the crush easy and quick to move and a fully hydraulic version. Prices from £3390 to £4500.
The Volac U40 300 calf-feeding system can now rear up to 300 calves, thanks to a single computerised feeding system. The company say that by using multiple units, up to five units can run simultaneously, allowing for significant cost-savings and better overall management. The central U40 feeder unit can be used as the hub, or alternatively all information can be fed into the farm office PC. Cost is based upon £100/calf.
Accurate feeding could be aided with the help of the TMR-Tracker from Digi-Star. By entering all the relavent information into the farm PC, this can then be sent either wirelessly or by DataKey to the indicator on the feed mixer which displays the ingredient to be fed, its weight as well as any group information. During feeding, all weights are logged and this information then generates analysis reports and graphs, allowing any differences to be minimised across the workforce. Supplied by David King Electronics.
IAE has launched a new extension kiosk to their latest range of crushes, allowing safer access to carry out routine management tasks such as AI and PD’ing through a bottom door that swings inwards on one side to help prevent animals kicking. The unit can connect onto portable race hurdles and is double hinged on both sides and is priced at about £790 + VAT.
For more on the Dairy Event, click here.