500 cows being fed with Abbey VF3050 and TMR Tracker has improved feed management on farm
The Johnstons have a 500-strong dairy herd that is housed all year round and milked using an automated parlour.
The Johnstons are generally ahead of the crowd, when it comes to technological developments in dairy farming. So, it was hardly surprising that, when they decided to buy a new Abbey VF3050 Diet Feeder, they got it with ‘TMR Tracker software’ to enhance their feed management. It allows wireless communication between the Diet Feeder and the computer. Every time the computer is turned on, the Diet Feeder sends back information. The software enables Chris Johnston to change recipes as and when he wants to from his desk, so that when the driver comes along to feed the cattle, the ration is already set for them.
It monitors the exact weight of what is being put in the feeder. This is important in terms of productivity, from a nutritional point of view and also efficiency. “Through consistent feeding, the TMR Tracker helps reduce fluctuations in loading and unloading and reduces peaks and troughs in milk production. It also easily adjusts rations for dry matter content” remarks Chris. It compares intended ration against the fed ration and calculates and records daily feed costs and dry matter intake.
“It records every single feed and the quantity of each ingredient,” says Chris. “It stops us from wasting money by over-feeding the cattle. It produces reports of who fed what and when and how much – it works well, I’m very pleased with it.”
Chris says they’ve been using Abbey feeders for several years. “They’re reliable, well-designed, good value for money, straightforward to use and well-built, they do the job I want them to do and they do it well.”
Johnstons, Skirwith Abbey, Penrith, Cumbria, England