DeLaval Optimat™ – the Norwegian experience
DeLaval Optimat™ has been improving the lives of farmers across the globe, saving time, reducing feed waste, improving feed accuracy and dry matter intake. In Norway, the automated feeding solution has firmly established itself on the market with much acclaim.
Precision and accuracy with DeLaval Optimat™ Master
The first DeLaval Optimat™ Master in Norway is on the Okkenhaug farm near Levanger in Norway. It has resulted in significant time-savings for the owner Karl Fredrik Okkenhaug.
He feeds his 70 cows eight times a day and the process is now completely automated and more accurate than before. “It offers far better opportunities for planning feeding exactly according to recommendations of the feed advisor,” he says.
Karl-Fredrik Okkenhaug has also noticed that cow traffic has improved since automating his feeding. He cites an increase in visits to the DeLaval VMS™ (voluntary milking system) from 2.3 visits per day up to between 2.6 – 2.8 visits per day.
“Since implementing the new feeding system, daily milk production has increased around 5 litres per cow,” adds Okkenhaug.
Time savings and higher milk-yields
The Tyllom Høylandet farm has also noticed an increase in VMS visits and milk production since introducing DeLaval Optimat™ “Milking frequency has increased by 0,2 to 0,3 per day and the yield per cow is up by about two litres,” says farm owner, Isak Tyldum. “Using a mixer makes the feed more appetizing. Suddenly the animals discover a real taste,” adds the farmer.
Tyldum has seen a lot of other benefits also. “The time needed for feeding has reduced by half. Thanks to this I am able to feed more frequently and lower the feed wastages ratio.” Tyldum also points out the increased flexibility that Optimat has given him. “It is not so important when I load the mixer. I can do it at a time that is most convenient for me. Feeding is done automatically and programmed according to the needs of an individual animal.”
Simplicity and reliability in feeding
In another part of Norway, the Melhus municipality in Sør-Trøndelag to be exact, Arne Jakobsen and his wife Marte Olden run a dairy and beef farm with around 100 milking cows in the barn. All their calves are being raised there too and around 100 beef cows also.
“If we are using PMR (partial mixed rations), it is important for feeding to be simple and rational. The menu here in our barn is very varied,” says Arne Jakobsen.
The variation in feeding means Jakobsen was looking for a feeding system that simplified an otherwise complicated process. “Now I just enter the settings and while the feed is being mixed I don’t have to do anything, then later I just press the button again and the feeding starts.”
Jakobsen has also experienced significant time-savings with DeLaval Optimat™ “To prepare a normal batch with predominance of round bales you just need 15 minutes to cut the bale and start the feeding,” says Jakobsen.
A factor that all farmers mentioned when they made the move to DeLaval Optimat™ was DeLaval themselves.
“The journey from the idea to getting in touch with DeLaval and their “feeding” people was not very long” says Karl-Fredrik Okkenhaug. “I knew there was experience, expertise and equipment that would help me to reach my goals. And after a visit at one of the farms where DeLaval has installed a recently developed mixer, watching its performance at work – the choice was easy.”
DeLaval Optimat™ is a firmly established system with a proven track record in delivering a robust, accurate feeding system that ensures the health and productivity of any herd. Those using the system in Norway believe that DeLaval Optimat™ is the future of feeding.