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EQUIPMENT ▶▶▶


Convenient and green


A roundup of new electric, mobile and/or automated machines currently available to producers and a look at how much the demand for this equipment is growing.


BY TREENA HEIN E


The Triomatic WP 2 300 feeding robot.


very year, more new electric and automated farm machinery comes onto the market, and that should not be a surprise. Farmers are very interested in envi- ronmentally-friendly equipment and systems with


zero emissions and no noise. And, now that battery lifespans are longer and some equipment can even use solar power, demand is stronger than ever. To get the latest news on prod- ucts, we’ve contacted some major manufacturers, along with two farmers and a scientist to get their perspectives on their use as well as the outlook for the years ahead.


Klaas-Jan Buist of Buistlane Farms in Canada (Mount Elgin, Ontario) purchased the 8 m³ Siloking eTruck TMR feed mixer in 2018 after having it on the farm as a ‘demo’ for a few months. Buist explains that for years he had already had a self-propelled TMR mixer and feed cart all-in-one, and he was in favour of another self-propelled machine to do these jobs in an expanded way in a new barn. “We did our research and


found that Siloking had an electric mixer and I thought ‘this is worth trying’,” says Buist. “The total cost of ownership was comparable to other systems and when we had it as a demo, we found out that it really shines in terms of energy con- sumption.” Buist charges the unit every third day at night when electricity rates are lower. “In the winter, you usually have to charge it every second night, and the cost is about $ 3 CAD to charge it, so that’s $ 1 to $ 1.5 a day,” he says. “And then there’s minimal noise and zero emissions. In the autumn, winter and spring I can load feed the night before and start it up with no issues in the morning, even after the feed has set- tled. The electric motor has tremendous torque. I was not go- ing to sacrifice anything on mixing quality and I don’t with this unit. It makes a fantastic homogeneous mix. The feedout is consistent and cleanout is perfect.”


Siloking also makes the ‘eSilokamm,’ a self-propelled elec- tric-powered silage collection and distribution machine. For its batteries, Siloking works closely with a European forklift manufacturer that has many years of proven experience. “One of the challenges of battery technology in general is still the weight and space it takes,” says Reto Ammann at Siloking Canada. “But in our situation, Siloking made the


26 ▶ ALL ABOUT FEED | Volume 28, No. 8, 2020


PHOTO CREDIT: RETO AMMANN, SILOKING


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