The Triomatic T30 Feed Kitchen rail drive robotic feeding system is a robotic mixer that is suspended from a rail system. It travels the length of your loafing parlor quietly dispensing feed to both sides of the aisle.
Standard setup is four bins, plus mineral, according to Mike Hanson of Hanson Silo.
“We’ll have a new dairy barn in South Dakota equipped with this system sometime this summer,” he said. “There are a couple of systems within 500 miles of us; but we think that this will be the first in our area.”
Some savings were immediate for this South Dakota producer. The initial design was a 120-foot wide facility; but he narrowed it to 80 feet due to saved space with this robotic feeding system. The system eliminates the need for a tractor and pull-type mixer in the barn. That 30 percent reduction in barn size helped finance the automated feeding system.
When the mixer is empty, the system goes in reverse for an automatic refill from the supply bins.
“This makes the feeding process a one-person operation,” Hanson said. “Some dairies today provide fresh feed 18 hours per day and feed nine times per day. Research shows this multiple feeding system is cost effective and the best strategy to keep maximum amount of fiber in the rumen. More production is the result.”
Dairy farmers have told him that multiple feedings with the robotic system results in more tranquility in the barn. Cattle aren’t crowding to get first crack at the feed when the tractor and TMR wagon comes chugging through the barn once a day. There’s no competition for bunk space. There’s no pecking order because cattle know the robotic feeder will be back in another half hour. Only half the herd gets up to feed. The remaining animals are resting, either standing or laying down, and chewing their cuds.
Another new edition to the Hanson line is an Auger Feed Pusher from Valmetal. This unit sweeps and pushes feed to remix it in front of the cows several times a day. Electronically operated, this rig saves labor and is the only feed pusher that remixes as it goes.
“We’ve had great feedback from producers who’ve added this remarkable technology to their feeding strategy,” said Hanson.
Whether marketing upright silos or bunkers, Hanson said their business is seasonal. Winter season is farm show time and following up on leads. Hanson is aware of the uncertainty for farmers these days, but he’s also ware of yields smashing records for three consecutive years.
“Who’s to say, 2017 might be another record production year?” Hanson shrugged. “The weather experts seem increasingly confident that our seasons are getting longer and warmer here in the midlands. Last year was a big year for ground storage because of the huge yields, so we’re always chasing that market.”
Livestock farmers are getting more particular about their silage piles.
“We’re moving out lots of 16-foot bunker walls these days. They want more depth because silage less than 8 feet deep doesn’t pack as well,” he said. “If you have 200,000 tons, perhaps that’s less a concern. But the smaller and medium-sized guys can be losing some valuable nutrition with these shallower packs.”
For more information on these and other products offered by Hanson Silo, check their website at www.hansonsilo.com or call (800) 843-7456.