NIR technology: Optimal feeding while saving money.

Precisely controlling the stipulated feed  ration results in high performance

It is in each dairy farmer's interest to know exactly what he is feeding his cows. Is he feeding them the calculated a feed amount?  His rations are based on calculating the dry matter content, but this can vary greatly in the silo. Incorrectly calculated feed ration results in four major  disadvantages: lower feed efficiency, metabolic problems in the cow, fluctuating milk yields and a higher proportion of food residues that remain unused and must be disposed of. Everything costs the farmer money. It all adds up, and even for medium-sized herds, this can end up markedly degrading the efficiency of milk production.

SILOKING SelfLine NIR Sensor Einsatz 600


Feeding is based on clear facts

Delivering the feed amount fed to livestock by eye does not achieve the maximum milk yield per kilogramme of dry matter. When dairy farmers use the NIR system by Dinamica Generale mounted at the front on the SILOKING self-propelled milling head, they no longer have to guess at the ration mix, and are now able to very accurately adjust the target components.","width":"853","height":"480","frameborder":"0","allowfullscreen":"allowfullscreen"}}" width="853" height="480">

The SILOKING solution: NIR technology

Precise basic feed quality monitoring is worth the effort. This is best done when discharging from the silo. The SILOKING solution for this task means: Near Infrared Spectroscopy or NIR for short. This technology, which is available as an option for all SILOKING self-propelled units, uses to short wavelength light to analyse dry matter in feed components. This equipment can also be retrofitted. NIR technology allows continuous, non-contact and non-destructive real-time analysis.

SILOKING NIR mit DG 8000 600


Real-time analysis instead of sampling

The NIR system provides particular advantages in silos that have layers of feed from different origins having different specific gravity values. Unlike random dry matter measurement, this system can accurately adjust the measurements based on values measuredin real time, even while feed is being extracted. It knows the dry matter content of the basic feed that has just been collected and can adjust the planned target components.

Loading the individual components depending on dry matter


Direct accounting in this feeding system

The NIR system is mounted in the SILOKING self-propelled removal miller.  The feed is released from the silage clamp by the miller and passes through the dry matter scanner. The scanner evaluates the current dry matter content and transmits the data to the calculating unit (Programmable weighing system DG8000-IC). The programming scale calculates the target weight for each feed component in real time compared with the planned ration and shows it on the display. This ensures that the calculated ration is actually precisely loaded as well.

Technical parameters

The analysis provides very accurate results when used properly.  Measurement deviations are maximum +/- 2%.

Analysable feed components:
- Grass silage (0-79% DM)
- Maize silage (20-49% DM)
- Hay (87-92 % DM)
- Alfalfa (85-94 % DM)
- Soy flour (88-91% DM)
- Wet maize (44-81% DM)
- Total mix ration (32-67% DM)



A worthwhile investment

Anybody who values optimised operating costs holds every detail of feeding precious. The reason for this is because feed costs constitute 40 - 50% of the total cost in milk production. It is therefore worth calculating the dry matter in the ration using the NIR technology in order to properly calculate and to control it. Because having to feed livestock expensive concentrates to compensate for a lack of energy in the basic feed wastes money.


Higher feed efficiency

A simple example demonstrates the financial benefits of NIR technology: Ideally, the ratio of milk produced (l) to consumed dry matter (kg) should have a value of 1.5. This value can be reached in practice using the SILOKING NIR system because it reduces feed loss and precisely allocates the rations. The investment will quickly pay for itself. (Source: Laura Weisz, Cargill Feed and Nutrition, Elite Onlinemagazine 30.09.2015)

Feeding professionals are convinced


Multiple benefits

The SILOKING NIR system has won feed professionals over. Dairy farms derive multiple benefits from more precise feeding: Feed intake and milk yield increase while at the same time your animals are healthier and more homogeneous. Another benefit: The animals eat a constant feed amount from a constant mixture. This lowers feed residues to a low value. Optimal, consistently good feed intake and digestion can be achieved. The bacteria in the rumen are not inhibited by nutrient supply and pH value fluctuations.

Reviews from actual users

Efficiency and sustainability are our top priority. On our young and modern dairy farm, therefore, fast, accurate and lossless loads of 150 tonnes of feed per day is paramount, and this includes taking the moisture content of basic food into account. Which is how we minimise the feed costs. This is a great logistical challenge and we are dependent on precise amounts and energy content in the feed rations. The humidity measurement using near-infrared spectroscopy immediately suggests itself. As practitioners, we are convinced of the advantages in using NIR technology. I know exactly what my food input is since I can measure the forage quality (dry matter) right at the silo without getting down from the machine, and I now know what I may have to mix in to the feed components. The NIR system makes it possible for me to more accurately
assess and measure out feed, which benefits our operation by:

  • Increasing feed intake
  • Increasing milk yield
  • Reducing feed residue
  • More homogeneous, healthier animals

In our operation, where the average output per cow is 30 kilogrammes, using the NIR system could mean an increased output of 0.6 kg/day per cow. With milk prices at € 0.30 /kg and 2,600 cows, this results in an increased revenue of  € 468 /day totalling € 170,820 annually.

For a 100-cow operation these figures break down into a potential revenue of € 6.570 annually, which can be realised using the NIR system in the SILOKING Self-propelled vehicle.

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