The most effi cient solutions of forage distribution on modern dairy cow farms
Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Latvia University of Agriculture, J.Čakstes bulv.
5, LV-3001, Latvia
The most efficient technological solutions of forage mix preparation and distribution on modern farms with herds of 100 to 600 cows have been investigated. Seven different technologies were compared – technologies applying mobile equipment and those applying forage distribution robots. Technological versions were evaluated by specific labour intensity and specific operational costs. For this reason a mathematical model was worked out, using computer simulation programme MatLab Simmulink. Calculations were based on the timekeeping data of the technological lines of forage preparation and distribution obtained on the farms included in the research. It was ascertained that it is more efficient to apply technologies that propose all operations to be performed by a single mobile technological unit. If the number of cows in the herd does not exceed 370, it is efficient to use a tractor unit with a frontally hooked scoop for loading silage and with a forage mixer-distributor hooked on the backside, but in the case of more cows, it is more efficient to use a unit of self-propelled type. Forage distribution robots can compete with mobile distributors if concentrated feed is included in the feed mix and if separately arranged stations are not used for this purpose.