Maybe we should call 2014 the year of the robot. With robotic milking equipment sales continuing, interest in unmanned aerial vehicles (drones, or U.A.V.s) skyrocketing, and even robots to replace sheep dogs, automation continues to be of interest to small and large farms alike.

First U.S. Lely Vector auto-feeder open house next week in PAOne of the latest technologies to reach the western world is the Lely Vector automatic feeding system. Using a “kitchen” with ingredients that are ready to be added to a self-propelled TMR (total mixed ration) mixer, the Vector system fills the TMR, feeds the cows, and pushes up feed similar to the company’s Juno robots.

The first U.S. installation is at Galen Nolt’s 170-cow Westview Farm. Nolt saw the Vector on a Canadian farm before buying it himself. Nolt says that, at just one month in, he loves seeing the Vector doing its job 24 hours a day, saving him time to get to other tasks at the dairy.

Those interested in attending the open house can visit between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., with breakfast early and lunch later in the event. Westview Farm is located at 222 Little Britain Church Road, Peach Bottom, PA.

The Vector was introduced in 2012 in Europe.

Sources: Lely, Fisher & Thompson