With the advances in technology and modernization of the dairy industry almost every news release, Ag newspaper article, or educational study as of late has been on Farm Automation, and specific to this industry and Tower Silos: “Feed Automation”.

One particular Hoards Dairyman article was titled “what will the dairy farm of the future look like?   Short answer:  AUTOMATION — AUTOMATION — AUTOMATION

Tower Silos and specialized feed handling equipment has been around for a long time, but the equipment that is available today, total feed automation is not only practical, it’s do-able.  In fact, it’s already being done.  From the Tower Silos and Silo unloaders to belt conveyors, grain conveyors, chain conveyors, bale conveyors, TMR mixers, belt feeders, big bale conveyors, hammer-mill and more; all can and are being used automatically!  All of these and many new components complete the feed automation process.  THE FUTURE IS NOW!

During the Midwest ISA regional meeting this past year, we visited the University of Wisconsin dairy research farm in Madison.  In discussion with the head herdsman who was conducting the tour, the comment was made that probably 80% of their top students have not had contact with cow.  Much of their study and research is done on a computer.  Feeding and individual cow health is tracked with a computer!  Hard to believe, isn’t it.  Due to the advances in technology with robotic and automated feeding and milking, our dairy farmers of the future are expecting their operations to be computerized and AUTOMATED.  As a matter of fact, if you want the younger generation to “stay on the farm”, we need to “Computerize” and “Automate” the farm.

Of interest to the ISA is the fact that one of the components of the “Farm of the Future” is the tower silo.  From small dairy operations of 100 cows or less to operations of 500 to 750 plus— Automation and Robotic systems make sense — Dollars and Cents.

What factors are moving the dairy industry into the Future and Total Automation?  For starters, how about labor availability and the cost of labor, quality of the milk, feed and supplement costs, and more.  The farmer today and in the future is highly educated and highly skilled who understands the “Science” of a modern dairy operation and has a strong acceptance of Hi Tec solutions.   What does that mean for us?  AUTOMATION —  AUTOMATION — AUTOMATION.

What drives the new, young farmer of the future?  Technology that “makes life easier” that includes push button unloading, push button feeding, and a complete feed automation system. Robotic feeding is essential to farm efficiency.  It promotes better herd health by being able to “customize” the diet of each cow which greatly facilitates digestion, reduces stress, increases productivity and longevity while lowering feed costs. It’s technology that saves valuable time allowing the modern farmer the opportunity to spend more time with his family.

Tower Silos are part of this equation