During the Eurotier animal production trade show in Hanover, Germany, organizer German Agricultural Society (DLG) announced the winners of the Agrifuture Concepts Winner award. In the field of farm machinery, an award goes to the remarkable Exos green fodder harvester from Lely. This fully electric vehicle harvests and takes fresh grass directly from the field into the cow shed.
Harvesting green fodder is one of the most important operations in dairy farming. High-quality green fodder that is usually produced on one’s own land extensively determines the quality of the feed rations or the necessity of having to supplement them with concentrated and mineral feeding stuffs. The green fodder is therefore the basis for profitable milk production and is essential to the health of the animals.
With Exos, Lely is presenting a concept for the fully autonomous harvesting and feeding of fresh grass. Green feeding throughout the vegetation period offers multiple advantages. For instance, the loss of energy due to the silaging process is eliminated, as is that part of the harvesting costs caused by the fact that successful silaging necessitates the achievement of high mowing, tedding, swathing and chopping efficiency even during time slots that are tight because of weather conditions. The fully electric Lely Exos provides the daily green fodder ration for the entire herd autonomously. The robot detects obstacles and navigates smoothly in the interior and exterior area. It is also possible to spread fertilizer during harvesting. Thanks to this and because mowing takes place at the right point in time, quick regrowth of the grassland is promoted and the soil is protected due to the comparatively low weight of the machine.
This enables the farm to benefit fully from the use of the entire vegetation period, to produce more milk from feed it has produced itself, and thereby to reduce labor, the number of machines needed and the purchase of additional feeding stuffs.
The “DLG Agrifuture Concept Winner” award scheme premiering in 2022 focuses on solutions that can provide decisive impetus for the future viability of livestock farming and the decentralised supply of energy. With this new award, the DLG is following its objective to present not only market-ready products at its leading international trade fairs, but also groundbreaking impulses for the future of global livestock farming and decentralized energy supply.