Machinery & Products

Robot keeps feed in line

By Dairy News

INSTALLING A GEA FR1 feed pusher from Advanced Dairy Systems in Cobram has been an investment Finley dairy farmer Marcus Flanagan is happy he made.

Running a busy and intensive 700-cow operation means time is precious, and Mr Flanagan is always looking at ways to streamline his operation and reduce labour.

Before the purchase of the FR1 workers would manually drive the tractor up and down the feed pad pushing the feed back into line for the cows.

“It was one of those jobs that took up at least an hour each and every day that just had to be done, now the feed pusher does it for us,” Mr Flanagan said.

The pusher can be programmed to run up to 19 hours a day — it needs five hours to recharge.

Transponders embedded in the cement every 2.5 m guide the machine as it makes its way up and down the pad and then steers it back to the charging port.

Mr Flanagan is the first person in Australia to install this type of technology on-farm

He was tossing up between two brands but chose the GEA FR1 because it spins independent of the feed, reducing the problem of the ration being dragged along and piling up at the end of the pad.

“I think this is a real cost effective piece of technology,” he said.

“I employ a few backpackers and anything I can automate to make things simpler is certainly attractive to me. I am more than happy with the way it is performing.”