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0209 PD: 9 new products for 2009

Published on 14 January 2009

The following nine products were chosen by a committee of industry professionals and dairymen as the newest, most innovative dairy products and will be showcased during World Ag Expo Feb. 10-12 in Tulare, California.

Progressive Dairyman asked each of the product inventors or sponsoring companies to discuss how their products fill an industry need.

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1. Ag Bag
Marketed by Ag-Bag of St. Nazianz, Wisconsin

Taylor Weisensel and his team at Ag-Bag are currently working with their latest introduction to the forage preservation arena, the Ag-Bag X1114 Professional.

Q. This is the first commercial-scale forage bagger designed for custom harvesters and dairymen with feeding needs of 750 cows or more. Why is there a need for this product?

WEISENSEL: The biggest need of custom harvesters and large-scale dairies is keeping up with the larger and faster forage harvesting equipment used by these individuals. We needed equipment that could match the rapid harvesting rate so we developed the X1114 Professional to fill that niche. It is the first unit we have built with the term “professional” at the end because it truly is a machine for those dealing with high-end volumes and speed.

Q. What brought about this product’s creation?

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WEISENSEL: Dairymen and custom harvesters have found the benefit of having their forages stored and ensiled in bags, so we felt we needed to find a way to keep up with the harvesting equipment out there to meet the capacity coming from the fields to the farms.

Q. What type of dairy producer do you think this product will most benefit?

WEISENSEL: Because of its speed and capacity, we are looking to work with individuals who are either large-scale custom operators who need to harvest fields as quickly as possible or dairymen who have herds of 750 cows or larger. Because the bag has gone from 11-12 feet up to 14 feet in diameter, it also requires decent-sized equipment to handle the feeding-out aspects of the bagged forage.

Q. How do you imagine most dairy producers using the product?

WEISENSEL: This equipment really becomes a tool to quickly harvest and store forages faster than ever before. It was designed with both forage handling and operator comfort in mind, knowing that people will be sitting at the controls for long hours. Overall, it brings together both speed and efficiency in a way that no other system can offer, especially those processing large quantities of forage.

Q. How will your product make a dairy more profitable and/or more efficient?

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WEISENSEL: The biggest advantage to this system is you have less shrinkage with bagged feed over piled or bunker systems. University studies have shown you have 15 to 30 percent loss with these conventional systems. Doing the math, at a current price of roughly $60 a ton for feed, a 20 percent loss means you are throwing away $12 a ton if you are not putting it in a bag.

Q. When was the product introduced?

WEISENSEL: We featured a prototype at WAE last year and brought the final version to the market last August.

Q. Any products in working circulation?

WEISENSEL: Right now there are five units currently being used.

Q. How long has the product been in development?

WEISENSEL: It took a good two years to bring everything together and get it ready for use with all the added features of this new system.

Q. Why the name?

WEISENSEL: The X stands for extra large, the 11 stands for the 11-foot rotor and the 14 represents the 14-foot bag. We added “Professional” to the end because it really is for those who work with large volumes of feed. PD

2. QuickBayt
Developed by Bayer Animal Health of Shawnee, Kansas

Bayer Animal Health representatives say QuickBayt Spot Spray can be applied indoors and outdoors out of reach of livestock and domestic animals to kill flies quickly on walls, posts, beams, ceilings and other vertical and overhead surfaces where conventional scatter baits can’t be used.

Why is there a need for this product?

BAYER: Gravity doesn’t mean much to house flies. They land on the ceiling as easily as they land on the floor. But with QuickBayt Spot Spray on the ceiling and walls and QuickBayt Fly Bayt on the floor, virtually everywhere flies land, flies die.

Q. What brought about this product’s creation?

BAYER: Flies can be a major economic pest for large operations, and a terrible nuisance for small farms and other facilities. Our product is an innovative solution that provides increased application flexibility and effective control.

Q. What type of dairy producer do you think this product will most benefit?

BAYER: Anyone that has fly problems! The product is applied directly on the surfaces where flies tend to rest, such as window sills, ceilings, walls, barn beams, etc. Application can be made outdoors, indoors, in and around animal facilities – virtually any surface that’s not within reach of consumption by livestock or domestic animals.

Q. How do you imagine most dairy producers using the product?

BAYER: For best results, make a number of spot sprays throughout the facility. One application lasts up to six weeks indoors or two weeks outdoors.

Q. How will your product make a dairy more profitable and/or more efficient?

BAYER: The spray starts killing flies in less than 60 seconds and is effective against flies resistant to organophosphates and pyrethroids.

Q. When was the product introduced?

BAYER: This product was launched in time for the 2007 fly season.

Q. Any products in working circulation?

BAYER: Yes, Bayer offers several solutions to address fly control on livestock and poultry operations such as Tempo SC Ultra Insecticide to provide an integrated approach.

Q. How long has the product been in development?

BAYER: A long time. Insecticide products often take years to research, develop, prove safety and receive approval from the EPA.

Q. Why the name?

BAYER: QuickBayt Spot Spray was chosen as a name because of the brand loyalty and legacy to the QuickBayt name combined with a fast-acting spray application of the product. It is the next generation of fly bait and is the perfect complement to QuickBayt Fly Bait granules. PD

3. TeMax Barrel Transport
Marketed by SK Engineering of Fresno, California

Stephen Keyser is president of SKEngineering, which developed the specially designed attachment for the TeMax transport system that helps move heavy barrels safely and efficiently.

Q. Why is there a need for this product?

KEYSER: The TeMax can transport up to 550 pounds of materials, even up and down hills. Its deep-cycle batteries allow it to operate all day on a single charge. A variety of attachments can easily be interchanged to move all kinds of materials. What this means to the customer is labor savings, fewer injuries due to muscle strains, no noise or exhaust fumes to bother other people or farm animals and years of maintenance-free operation.

Q. What brought about this product’s creation?

KEYSER: After seeing the TeMax at a trade show in June 2008, Elk Grove Milling Company of northern California approached SKEngineering to design an attachment for moving their feed barrels during customer deliveries. The reusable plastic barrels were introduced by EGM to eliminate the cost and waste incurred with paper feed bags and to protect the feed from weather and vermin. But with a loaded weight of 400 pounds, the barrels can be difficult to transport. The TeMax Barrel Transport was designed to slide under the barrel like a hand truck, safely tip the barrel back, lock it in place for transport and effortlessly move the barrel as needed.

Q. What type of dairy producer do you think this product will most benefit?

KEYSER: The TeMax is ideal for smaller dairies or those needing to move materials in tight quarters. Organic dairies, where sensitivity to environmental concerns is a priority, will benefit not only from the TeMax’s convenience and power but also from its quiet, pollution-free operation.

Q. How do you imagine most dairy producers using the product?

KEYSER: Distribution of feed to small herds of dairy cattle or to calves is an ideal application for the TeMax.

Q. How will your product make a dairy more profitable and/or more efficient?

KEYSER: The TeMax eliminates the use of wheelbarrows and hand carts for the movement of feed and other materials, paying for itself in three to six months based on labor and time savings. The TeMax also reduces lost productivity due to injuries and workman’s compensation insurance rates by eliminating lifting of heavy materials during transport.

Q. When was the product introduced?

KEYSER: Its German manufacturer, Temove GmbH, first introduced the TeMax in Europe five years ago. SKEngineering, the exclusive North American distributor, introduced the TeMax in the western U.S. in October 2007.

Q. Any products in working circulation?

KEYSER: Between the European and U.S. markets, there are more than 500 TeMax in operation at dairies, produce farms, equestrian operations, commercial landscapers, municipal parks and a variety of unique applications. The barrel transport attachment is brand-new and has not yet been sold into a commercial application.

Q. How long has the product been in development?

KEYSER: The Barrel Transport attachment was developed between June and September 2008.

Q. Why the name?

KEYSER: The name came from the German manufacturer Temove GmbH. Temove stands for “technology for electric movement.” TeMax is simply a variation of the German company name. PD

4. Agrivolt
Marketed by Agrivolt of Kansas City, Missouri

Bill Thompson of Agrivolt will unveil the new Agrivolt SmartScan Monitoring System to U.S. dairy producers at World Ag Expo. The SmartScan sensors monitor every electrical circuit in the dairy barn, detecting any type of electrical fault that occurs in the network.

Q. Why is there a need for this product?

THOMPSON: Dairies run efficiently when their equipment is running at peak performance levels. The ability to monitor all equipment on a dairy and to proactively know when a piece of equipment is starting to fail will save a producer considerable dollars in reduced downtime and greatly enhance his or her preventive maintenance program.

Q. What brought about this product’s creation?

THOMPSON: The innovative development of a sensor with a built-in micro-processing chip that monitors the electrical network and interfaces with software that can interpret virtually any type of electrical fault was the catalyst for the development of SmartScan. By comparing the sine wave of the fault to examples of known sine waves stored in the software, it is possible to define what is going wrong in any piece of equipment powered by electricity and to proactively predict failure.

Q. What type of dairy producer do you think this product will most benefit?

THOMPSON: A producer that understands the value of cost-control and preventive maintenance, as well as the importance of detecting unwanted electrical noise that could interfere with other equipment on the facility. Also, a producer that understands the need to monitor the electrical network to detect current flowing improperly to the grounding network that may affect production or animal health.

Q. How do you imagine most dairy producers using the product?

THOMPSON: Ideally, a dairyman would want the “alarms” to be monitored by their equipment dealer so that repairs or equipment replacement could be completed before equipment failure. Producers would also monitor VSDs or other equipment that may create electrical noise (harmonics) that could interfere with sensitive ID systems.

Q. How will your product make a dairy more profitable and/or more efficient?

THOMPSON: The ability to monitor equipment and the electrical network 24/7 allows the producer to proactively replace or repair faulty equipment before total failure, thus prolonging equipment life, preventing costly downtime and reducing emergency service bills.

Q. When was the product introduced?

THOMPSON: SmartScan will be introduced at the 2009 World Ag Expo.

Q. Any products in working circulation?

THOMPSON: Currently SmartScan is on two dairies in Canada. Release of the product in the U.S. is scheduled after World Ag Expo.

Q. How long has the product been in development?

THOMPSON: Agrivolt, working in a technological partnership with BBA Inc., an international engineering consultant, has been developing the sensor and software over the last three years.

Q. Why the name?

THOMPSON: The sensor, with the implanted micro-chip and decision-making ability, is called a “smart” sensor. The product “scans” the electrical network of a facility to detect any electrical faults, thus the name SmartScan. PD

5. Calf-Tel Pro & Deluxe
Developed by Hampel Corp. of Germantown, Wisconsin

Joe Weber has been the marketing manager at Hampel Corp since 2006. Calf-Tel introduced its first hutch in 1981 and is committed to continued enhancement of the product line to insure the success of all dairymen.

Q. Why is there a need for this product?

WEBER: When bedding the calf hutches, if there isn’t a large enough opening, it’s difficult to get the bedding to the back of the hutch. With our product, the rear door opens up all the way. The opening at the top-back of the hutch is easy and large enough, whether you’re doing it by hand or mechanically blowing it in. The rear door also serves as an adjustable ventilation door, providing unparalleled ventilation, which is key in warmer climates. Because it’s adjustable, with multiple settings, you can set it on the maximum ventilation and still protect the calf from the elements.

Q. What brought about this product’s creation?

WEBER: Quite simply it was producer feedback. Calf-Tel has always been committed to listening to the producers’ needs and translating those needs into continued innovation.

Q. What type of dairy producer do you think this product will most benefit?

WEBER: The beauty of this design is it is equally advantageous to large and small dairies. It’s a time saver for any dairy. It allows producers to quickly and easily walk to the back of the hutch and evenly distribute the bedding. The optimal benefit will be realized in the West and Southwest, where the climate is the warmest. Producers will then realize the full benefit of both features.

Q. How do you imagine most dairy producers using the product?

WEBER: Since it is an enhancement, the producers will really use it in a similar manner. It will just be much more labor efficient.

Q. How will your product make a dairy more profitable and/or more efficient?

WEBER: Due to the new bedding feature, there will be significant labor savings for small and large facilities. Additionally, calf comfort, in warmer climates, will be greatly increased due to the enhanced ventilation features. When you combine the biosecurity/ease of cleaning advantages from the high molecular weight polyethylene and the enhanced ventilation, dairymen will realize a ROI from labor and healthier calves.

Q. When was the product introduced?

WEBER: A prototype was shown at World Dairy Expo, but the first production models will be displayed to the public at World Ag Expo.

Q. Any products in working circulation?

WEBER: Calf-Tel introduced the 1.2 Mini in 2006. The 1.2 is essentially a smaller version of the new Pro & Deluxe II models and has two years of proven success at dairies across the globe. Modifications were made and we’ve had actual full-scale prototypes in the field for several months.

Q. How long has the product been in development?

WEBER: The Calf Hutch 1.2 was developed about two and a half years ago. The new Pro and Deluxe II models were started last year. PD

6. MilkWatch
Marketed by Id-ology of Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Bob Kleemeier of Id-ology describes how his product can give producers more information from inside the milking parlor.

Q. Why is there a need for this product?

KLEEMEIER: The Milk Watch system incorporates several new technologies to make a smarter milking parlor with real-time identification that is more affordable than earlier milking systems. The product enables the operator to obtain and record individual milk weights, milk temperature and milk conductivity while milking each animal. Since the system is wireless, producers won’t have large expenditures for stationary cow readers at each stall. Installation is very simple.

Q. What brought about this product’s creation?

KLEEMEIER: Milk Watch evolved by combining several technologies. We have been implanting RFID PELITs in the rear leg of dairy cows for many years, and now with our wristwatch, which is worn on a milker’s forearm, he or she is able to identify the cow while attaching milking cups. The data link between the wristwatch and the stall milk meter is totally wireless.

Q. What type of dairy producer do you think this product will most benefit?

KLEEMEIER: This system works on all sizes of milking parlors. Currently there is a considerable range in the herd size and type of dairy producer using the system, including a 1,000-head milking goat dairy to a 150-cow organic dairy. It can be implemented in stages, and it does not have big front-end costs, which helps smaller operators.

Q. How will your product make a dairy more profitable and/or more efficient?

KLEEMEIER: Personnel armed with accurate information are always more efficient and more profitable. This accurate real-time milk production data coupled with individual animal temperatures and milk conductivity provides a comprehensive basis on which every dairy producer can make profitable decisions. The system is very reasonably priced and by using either bracelets or implant PELITs it is even more competitive.

Q. When was the product introduced?

KLEEMEIER: Portions of the technology like the PELIT implants have been in use for herd health for over a dozen years. The wireless links to the milk meter panels have been used about five years, and our wrist RFID reader has been in use for about four years in Europe and not quite a year in the Americas.

Q. Any products in working circulation?

KLEEMEIER: We have been operating in a California dairy parlor for a year because it was first installed prior to WAE 2008 and was recently introduced to Central America and the Caribbean Islands.

Q. How long has the product been in development?

KLEEMEIER: Since our product is an amalgamation of several technologies, one could say that it has been in development for 15 years for the PELIT. And the product software and wrist-mounted readers have been released and perfected within the last five years.

Q. Why the name?

KLEEMEIER: Milk Watch seemed to be descriptive of the main operator interface with the system, and it is easily remembered by association. The system also watches the quality of milk and animal health by keeping track of individual animal temperatures and milk conductivity. PD

7. SiloStop
Marketed by Connor Marketing of Clovis, California

Simon Wigley and Ron Kuber, distributors of SiloStop, discuss why dairy producers can save more nutrients in their silage piles by using their product.

Q. Why is there a need for this product?

WIGLEY: The purpose of this product is to eliminate oxygen from the silage bunker or pile. This ensures that the silage ferments anaerobically and that it does not spoil over time. Conventional products restrict the flow of oxygen but do not eliminate it completely.

Q. What brought about this product’s creation?

WIGLEY: Dairy producers in Italy were concerned about the level of spoiled silage and mold they were getting in their bunkers and wanted to reduce it. This need, and the resulting trials with silage scientists, caused the development of the product.

KUBER: The technology in plastics which has been used the past 40 years has done a great job at repelling water molecules, but it is not as efficient at repelling oxygen. In the last few years there have been some improvements in plastics technology driven by the food industry. SiloStop applies this technology to a larger sheet of plastic designed to cover silage. It’s 20 times more effective at blocking oxygen than typical 5 mil black and white plastic.

Q. What type of dairy producer do you think this product will most benefit?

KUBER: All dairy producers who make silage in bunkers or piles can benefit from this product. The more silage they make, the more they will benefit.

Q. How do you imagine most dairy producers using the product?

WIGLEY: Most dairy producers will use SiloStop film in its ‘thin, clear, two-step’ format. In this format it is most forgiving, and at the same time gives the producer the overall maximum benefit. The alternative, SiloStop One-Step, is a black and white plastic embedded with the oxygen barrier technology. This plastic offers simplicity and familiarity.

KUBER: I’ve seen some cases where dairymen have specified they wanted SiloStop, but instead they got two layers of a standard plastic without the properties of SiloStop. It’s important for dairymen to make sure that they have a clear understanding with their contractor as to what they’re asking for and what results they’re expecting to get. Producers must ask for the product by name.

Q. How will your product make a dairy more profitable and/or more efficient?

WIGLEY: Depending on how a dairy is storing its feed, nutrient losses may range anywhere from 12 to 30 percent overall. With this product, a producer could reduce that loss by at least 5 percent, and that’s a conservative estimate. So instead of having 1,000 tons of silage and 50 tons or two truckloads disappear, producers will keep those nutrients during the storage phase.

Q. When was the product introduced?

WIGLEY: SiloStop film was introduced to the U.S. for research purposes in 2002 and commercially in 2005 in selected regions.

Q. How long has the product been in development?

WIGLEY: It has been in continual development since 1999. Modifications have been made during that time to produce the product we have today, and we expect to see further developments over the next few years. PD

8. SmartBolus
Developed by TenXsys of Eagle, Idaho

Frank Riskey formally worked with Hewlett-Packard in their research and development division. He then started TenXsys in 2002, developing wildlife collars for tracking wolf, elk and other animals, as well as audio monitors for birds.

Q. Why is there a need for this product?

RISKEY: Progressive dairy managers are continually looking for ways to improve their operations’ efficiencies. The health and breeding of their animals is a top concern that this product addresses. This product provides detailed 24/7 information on the entire dairy herd, whether a heifer, milking, dry/close-up or in the hospital pen.

Q. What brought about this product’s creation?

RISKEY: In 2005, a pair of progressive dairy and beef managers came to TenXsys, explained the need and asked for this product. At the time, TenXsys was not involved in the cattle industry, but with industry support we developed the SmartBolus system.

Q. What type of dairy producer do you think this product will most benefit?

RISKEY: Any dairy regardless of size that is looking to improve the health and/or breeding performance of their herd will benefit. This product provides information that is not possible to collect in any other way.

Q. How do you imagine most dairy producers using the product?

RISKEY: Our product records motion and temperature data day and night, then sends this data to the dairy computer. Just before making daily rounds the dairy manager will look for temperature and motion alerts produced by DHI-Plus software, a product of DHI-Provo. Dairy personnel will then review the temperature and motion data provided on the animals in the alert list. Herdsmen will then examine the animals’ condition and take action such as treatments or breeding.

Q. How will your product make a dairy more profitable and/or more efficient?

RISKEY: The SmartBolus gathers data on the animal’s health 24/7 so that dairy personnel can take action before any symptoms are noticeable. This includes high or low temperature signaling illness, change in drinking behavior signaling digestive issues, change in motion signaling lameness or imminent calving or heat. Dairies can then react to these conditions sooner to reduce cull rates and decreased milk production.

Q. When was the product introduced?

RISKEY: We announced it in February 2008 at the World Ag Expo, and began selling in the second half of 2008.

Q. Any products in working circulation?

RISKEY: Yes, several hundred devices at four commercial dairies, one university dairy, and one feedlot. The commercial dairies are in California, Idaho, Utah and Nevada.

Q. How long has the product been in development?

RISKEY: Since November 2005, so over 3 years.

Q. Why the name?

RISKEY: This product is not a simple, passive device only active at an RFID reader, but rather one that samples and reports data as scheduled. Our device operation is configurable from the dairy computer even when inside an animal, so a dairy producer can be smart about how their bolus operates: thus the SmartBolus name. PD

9. Trimble Nomad 800X
Developed by Tripod Data Systems, a Trimble Company of Corvallis, Oregon Victoria

Gagnon is the sales manager for ag for Tripod Data Systems (TDS). TDS makes rugged handheld computers that are designed for extreme environments.

Q. Why is there a need for this product?

GAGNON: Many of the dairy producers tell me that they really like the dairy solutions available to them, but that consumer-grade PDAs just don’t hold up when the units drop in a bucket of milk or much worse! So there is a tremendous need for our Trimble outdoor, rugged handheld computers like the Trimble Nomad 800X (800X).

Q. What brought about this product’s creation?

GAGNON: The Trimble handhelds have had Wi-Fi capabilities for years, but unfortunately Wi-Fi is not always available on a farm or outdoors and losing your connection can be a problem. The ability now to have wireless connection on the 800X to the AT&T network, as you do with your cell phone, brings the ability to communicate with your employees, download data and send files to the office from almost anywhere.

Q. What type of dairy producer do you think this product will most benefit?

GAGNON: There are so many mobile solutions available to the dairy producer today that the benefits are endless. For example, DHI Provo has their solutions EZfeed for feed management and Pocket DHI-Plus that gives dairy producers easy access to cow records from any location. We also have California Dairy Herd Improvement (CDHIA) that has MilkHand 4 Pocket PC. If you see a mobile solution you like and it’s running on Windows Mobile 6.0 Pocket PC, we should be able to work with it. Or you can create your own report with Pocket Word or Pocket Excel.

Q. How do you imagine most dairy producers using the product?

GAGNON: The 800X is lightweight and easy to carry. Dairy producers will be able to bring the 800X wherever they are collecting data. The 800X units can also withstand extreme temperatures at -22ºF to 140ºF (-30ºC to 60ºC) and high humidity which is very important for the dairy producer. Dairy producers will use this product in a rough environment so they need the most rugged handheld computer available.

Q. How will your product make a dairy more profitable and/or more efficient?

GAGNON: Mobile solutions have revolutionized the dairy market, taking the customer from the clipboard to electronic data collection. There are so many advantages to collecting information electronically. You save time, money and best of all the accuracy of your data greatly improves. No more need for data entry in the office and worrying about transposing numbers. Electronic data collection also gives you the ability to collect your information incredibly fast.

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