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EuroTier: ‘headwind cannot stop innovation’

If EuroTier 2014 in the German city of Hanover learns one thing, it is that the agricultural sector cannot be stopped by headwind when it comes to innovations and production.

Even in the current situation with ample supply of milk, eggs and pork and subsequent low prices, the agricultural sector is looking towards the future. The host of EuroTier and president of the German Agricultural Society DLG Mr Carl Albrecht Bartmer praised the farmers and especially the exhibitioners for doing what they do, making the world of animal husbandry even better than it already is. "However, there are two parallel worlds. There is the bigger world, which is pleased with the food we produce. Who can enrich their diets through our advances in production and the farmers who are involved day and night. Then there is the other world. A world with a romantic view on animal production, which denounce the industrialised way of production''. According to Bartmer we have to take this world serious as well. "We have to listen closely and act accordingly, because we have to be very careful not to get stuck in a real parallel world".

EuroTier is a window to the future when it comes to innovations which influence farming of the future. "Never have we took better care of our animals until now, EuroTier revolves around the biological functions of the animals, ensuring they can be expressed in the best way possible. Only then production can reach it's optimal''. But there is a lot to win in the field of communication with the society around the farm. "Communication is essential, because large parts of society, living in the parallel world have lost connection with farming. The individual farmer is our greatest asset. He is in the Centre of society and in the forefront of the dialogue with society. I cannot stress the importance for everyone involved in agriculture to connect on an individual level with your surroundings''.

The words of Bartmer were underlined by the German secretary of agriculture Christian Schmitz as well, "The one who doesn't go with the time, will go with time. It is essential we bring agriculture back in the heart of society. That demands for openness and transparency from agriculture, but asks for willingness from society as well".

DLG president Bartmer and secretary of agriculture Schmitz awarded 6 innovations with gold medals, two were related to the dairy industry.

Cows and more
A software support system designed by the Landwirtschaftskammer Nordrhein-Westfalen, Bad Sassendorf, Germany is a system for rating, assessing and advising the dairy farm. Cows and more is a user-friendly, software-supported and systematic weak point analysis for dairy cattle keeping. It is possible to document behaviour features in the barn and carry out rating and evaluation regarding animal cleanliness, disorders arising from faulty management or faulty equipment, and integument damage digitally using tablet PCs. The image-supported system cows and more provides a number of different, logically developed input masks for different ratings. The corresponding rating areas and rating stages are displayed on the screen in easily understandable images. The assessment can be carried out by selecting the appropriate image. Both the data storage operation and the automated evaluation are carried out offline. Based on the analysis, the programme suggests measures for improvement. The graphic representation substantially facilitates the analysis of weak points. Export into other software packages is possible.

RotoPuls milking machine pulsator
BITEC Engineering from Romanshorn, Switzerland engineered a novel, patented milking machine pulsator. RotoPuls combines milking in line with animal welfare with ergonomic working conditions. This ensures high milk quality. The course of the pulse curve can be programmed and the noise emissions are distinctly reduced. The robust assemblies allow trouble-free operation. The RotoPuls consists of three main components – two servomotors, a valve block and a buffer tank. Each of the servomotors works separately and monitors a turntable in the valve block. The circumference of the turntable allows controlled air movement in the evacuation and airing phase. This prevents high accelerations at the start of the A and C phases, which additionally relieves the pressure on the teat. The length of each pulse curve phase can be programmed exactly via the speed of the turntable. The buffer tank is positioned between the valve block and pulse line. Its task is to absorb the short-term air surge from the pulsator and then pass this on slowly into the air line. This can reduce vacuum fluctuations in the air line.

Fabian Brockotter

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