As grain prices have increased significantly lately, practically almost doubled, analyzing grain quality has become more and more important. Peltokorte Oy recently invested in GrainSense Flow Analyzer that has been installed in their grain drying silo. The analyzer was installed at the upper end of the filling elevator, where all input grain is analyzed. Similarly, with the system it is possible to analyze the output grain.
Peltokorte Oy is running a 150 heads strong cattle farm in Ylöjärvi, located in Southern Finland. Mr. Esa Korte has over two decades of experience from farming and running a dairy operation. In addition to the cattle, they grow grass and some crops on their farm, to be used in feeding the cattle. They also buy a large share of their feeds from local farmers.
They use barley, wheat and oats, which the silo mixes into a uniform mixture and dries the batch at the same time. It is important to know the protein content of the grains, as well as the moisture, as they use fresh grains. In addition to being able to create the perfect recipe for cattle feeding, they can also look at the quality of the grain as a basis for pricing.
Innovations to improve cow feeding
Peltokorte Oy has been active in finding and testing new technical solutions to increase efficiency in their work. They found the GrainSense Flow Analyzer through a European Innovation Partnership project in agriculture and innovation. In their EIP-Agri project they strive to improve the profitability of dairy farms and support the well-being of cows in changing situations by creating improvements to cow feeding.
As the installation is quite recent and the new season just starting, Peltokorte has limited experience in using the Flow Analyzer, but their objectives are clear and straightforward.
“The installation was easy. During the installation process, we also tested the system, and it appeared very simple, easy to use and smart. I’m waiting eagerly to try out the system even further in the upcoming season”, Mr. Korte comments.
Real-time analysis enables immediate response to change
Earlier the team at Peltokorte has used a rapid analyzer with silage to get immediate analysis results which has helped them to make changes to the feeding recipe accordingly. Previously samples of silage were analyzed as a laboratory service. The delay in getting the analysis results from the laboratory led to necessary changes made a week later, when the analyzed batch might have already been used. With real-time analysis and instantaneous actions, they can now avoid unwanted reactions to less optimal feeding such as poorer milking.
“We got a clear result that the milk quantities were increased, and we were able to avoid dips due to changes in the quality of the feed. I could imagine that similar results would be obtained from grain analysis with the GrainSense Flow Analyzer. Our goal is to be more precise in feeding and being able to predict upcoming changes – in general to get better outcome from our dairy production”, Mr. Korte explains.
Having a better understanding of their grains in the silo, and of the whole batch instead of just samples, they are able to make more precise decisions in creating the feeding recipe. The real-time analysis removes any delay in the analysis results.
Mr. Korte predicts a payback period of just a few years, depending on the farm’s individual properties and existing processes. “If you get an extra liter of milk a day with it, it will pay for itself fairly quickly.”
Mr. Korte also forecasts that this kind of solutions will soon become more common in Finland, as the farm sizes are increasing. The benefits from the investment pay back the cost even at a fast pace. In addition, specifying the amounts of feeding increases the environmental friendliness of the operation – which is highly appreciated and sought for in contemporary agriculture.
GrainSense - Sense Your Grain