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Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a fifth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the company in 2015.
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‘Smart technology to let a farmer know how much feed is in his/her silo’

McAree Engineering and Lvlogics will display the latest innovation in silo feed monitoring technology at this year’s Balmoral Show.

The LvLogics, SiloSpi technology has been tested on several livestock farms with V-Mac Silo installations on a range of different applications over the past six months.

Silo feed monitoring technology

Fergal Sherry, V-Mac Silo sales manager, explained: “We have been looking for a solution that uses smart technology to let a farmer know how much feed is in his/her silo for a long time.”

Feed consumption can often be faster than expected, and meal bins can run out of stock.

As a result, this puts severe pressure on busy feed compounders. They may have to schedule deliveries at short notice and often at weekends, thereby incurring extra costs and may find staff unavailable.

According to Fergal, a dairy farmer: “The solutions that are available are either very expensive, albeit very accurate, or inconsistent.”

“When Lvlogics introduced their SiloSpi solution, it ticked all the boxes for us straight away and offered so much more.”

“It provides accuracy to within 3%, is cost-efficient and allows the farmer to access valuable data on a range of devices using an easy to follow app. We have developed SiloSpi to solve several problems.

Monitor humidity

Apart from showing farmers what’s in their feed silo, it can also monitor humidity. This is a key aspect in determining feed quality and helping protect your silo.

It also removes the need for farmers to physically check the silo to see what’s in it, improving farm safety.

Farmers can choose to share this information with their feed supplier, thereby more efficiently managing deliveries and reducing re-supply costs.

UCD Research Farm 

Since Feb 2021, the UCD Research Farm at Lyons Estate, headed by Dr Eddie Jordan, has been using the innovative SiloSpi system. It uses this to monitor feed levels in their V-Mac Silos and to check the humidity and temperature of the various livestock diets stored in the six meal bins.

Backed by Lely, the Lvlogics system provides accuracy on silo contents to within 2/3%.

Dr Jordan and his team can access all this data easily on their smartphones or the office computer.

When feedstocks fall to a predetermined level, they receive a text alert and can order further supplies in good time.

Their feed miller also has access to this data to manufacture the speciality diets and arrange delivery more cost-effectively and sustainably.

The laser sensors the LvLogics system uses have a patented self-cleaning mechanism to deal with the dust in a feed silo, so the data supplied is “always accurate”.

Dr Jordan said: “Before installing this system, monitoring feedstocks was very time-consuming, and we did not always get it right. It can be difficult to see what is in a silo, and manual checking takes time.”

“Due to changing weather conditions, the humidity and temperature in the feed silos could change due to condensation etc.”

“So we could have unforeseen problems with feed bridging in the silos or going mouldy. Humidity checking is becoming more important with more complex feeds which have a range of additives and are more reactive to heat and humidity.”

V-Mac Silos will be displaying the Lvlogics, SiloSpi solution, on their stand at the show.

SiloSpi can be retrofitted at low cost to any existing feed silo, and the Lvlogics installation team will carry out this work.

Competition

V-Mac silos are also running a free competition to win a V-Mac Feed barrow valued at €400 (£345). To enter, fill out an entry form at the V-Mac Silos stand C 66 on 8th Avenue.

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