At its Future Farm Days event earlier today, Lely revealed the latest innovation in automatic feed pushing – a “greatly enhanced” Lely Juno.

After more than 10 years of experience in automatic feed pushing, and six years with the Vector automatic feeding system, this third-generation Juno is claimed to be easier to use in all kinds of situations, easier to operate and capable of working in multiple sheds across the farm, according to the Dutch agri automation giant.

All Lely innovations now focus on the cow as the central point. By using smart technology, the new Juno apparently ensures there is always clean feed for each individual cow, and with that, a “positive effect” on animal health, fertility and financial results.

Increasing feed-pushing frequency stimulates frequent consumption, potentially leading to a 2.8% increase in feed intake within the herd – or says the manufacturer. In terms of automatic milking, frequent feed pushing encourages cows to visit the milking robot more often, according to Lely.

Lely claims that frequent feed pushing can reduce stress and aggression by ensuring that feed is always within reach for every cow.

Automating the recurring work of feed pushing 24 hours a day also “significantly reduces” labour requirements and fuel costs, the agri tech firm says.

Lauded as the “most versatile feed pusher on the market”, the Juno can be used in almost any type of shed without modifications, or so says Lely.

The machine follows walls and fences on both sides, while metal guiding strips on the floor drive it towards the charging station and, if necessary, to other sheds.

When the Juno drives without pushing it can lift its skirt, reducing wear and tear – enabling it to overcome small obstacles.

It also provides sufficient ground clearance when driving on slopes and keeps the skirt free from mud and muck. This ensures that the feed stays “clean”.

The Juno can lower its skirt in a left-hand and right-hand pushing position. This makes routing more efficient, resulting in a higher machine capacity.

Shut the door behind you

When driving from one shed to another, the Juno can automatically open and close electric doors using a Bluetooth connection.

A Bluetooth connection can also be used to operate the machine on a smartphone with the ‘Lely Control Plus’ operation system.

The farmer can create and adjust a route with pre-set actions and steer the Juno with a finger on the screen.

Within just one route per feeding alley, it is possible to enter multiple feeding rounds (and distances from the feed barrier).

Based on the amount of feed at a given spot, the Juno automatically corrects the optimal distance to the feed barrier. This supposedly ensures that the Juno pushes the feed correctly over the entire length of the passage; even when the feed is not divided evenly, it is always within the cows’ reach.

Collision detector

The Juno also has a collision detector. This stops the feed pusher, as soon as it hits an obstacle.

The collision detector can also be equipped with an electric pulse. This does not harm cows or humans but prevents cows from stopping the machine by touching it.

The new Juno will be available as of August 31, 2018.