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Q&A with our CEO

Innovative Feedpushers Designed by JOZ are Taking the US Dairy Market by Storm. This is an interview with Rick Elling from JOZ, a Dutch-based company that specializes in slurry handling and feedpushing equipment, done by:

Myria S. van Raemdonck
Commercial Officer at Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Q A with our CEO JOZ feed pusher

 

Rick Elling, CEO at JOZ
Rick Elling. CEO at JOZ

Q: JOZ specializes in Slurry handling. What exactly does this mean?

A: It means we design, manufacture, and sell products that clean stables and barns. Our slogan is that we are “the Home of the Clean Stable.” JOZ was founded by Jan Oostwouder more than 70 years ago. It all started when he designed a system that automated the removal of slurry, bringing an end to the labor intensive activity of manually mucking out stables. Today, our products can be found all over the world.

 

Q: So does that mean you are already selling your products in the U.S?

A: It does. We have been exporting our products to North America for 17 years now, although we have been more active in Canada than in the U.S. Until recently, the U.S. was not a country that had our focus. Not because of a lack of interest, but because we simply did not have the manpower to effectively service the market. However, with the recent addition of several U.S. sales representatives and the opening of a branch office in the U.S. – JOZ-USA Inc. – this is about to change.

 

Q: Do you specialize solely in the removal of slurry or do you also sell other products?

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"Now I know there is always feed in front of the cows"

The 645 kg robotic feed pusher handles both the early morning job and the late feed push at Stursbøl Østergaard farm.

JOZ Moov Peter Timmerman Denmark

JOZ Moov at work pushing at a steady six metres per minute so that there is always feed in front of the cows. 

Text and photos: Claus Solhøj

 

As the robot handles the final feed push of the day, it is the peace of mind along with the feeling of freedom, especially in the evening, that Peter Timmermann emphasises when describing the benefits of letting a robot take care of pushing feed for the 400 high-yield dairy cows on his farm at Stursbøl Østergaard. “Now I know there is always feed in front of the cows and this lifts some of the pressure off my shoulders,” he explains while the farm’s JOZ Moov finishes pushing feed on one side of the stable and pulls out into the middle of the passage to return to the charging station before the next feed push. Both Peter Timmermann and his employees on the farm are particularly pleased that the one-metre-high robotic feed pusher, which weighs 645 kg, is able to handle the early feed push at 03:30 before morning milking and the late 22:00 feed push during the day’s final inspection. “Now I just take the bike and whiz around the barns for a few minutes in the evening, if there is nothing else to do,” Peter Timmermann says.

  

The heaviest robot on the market
At Stursbøl Østergaard farm, which has always fed twice and pushed in four times a day, a number of the advantages typically seen with robotic feeders – such as a more peaceful stable, a steadier environment in the rumen, better feed utilisation and often also an increase in yield – have not been so pronounced.

 

These gains derive from our understanding of the effect of always ensuring that there is feed in front of the cows and can be calculated at farm level based on the individual farm’s specific prerequisites in a detailed spreadsheet so that the repayment period can be determined.

At Stursbøl Østergaard farm this figure is almost 2.5 years, but in other instances it can be as short as eight to ten months in the event of livestock with little feed pushing and/or lower yield than Peter Timmermann’s 11,000 kg ECM annual yield from a cow.

 

"The most important thing for me is the security that there is always feed in front of the cows. But I also think that our loading machine will last for a couple more years when it no longer needs to be started and stopped cold during feeding."

 

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“I was looking for ways to work even more efficiently”

Eleven times a day, Moov delivers roughage to Marc Sanders’ open shed in Kalmthout (Belgium). He milks 240 cows using four robots. The results: higher production, a huge savings in labor and calmer cattle stock. 

 

Sanders bought the Moov in September 2016. “I was looking for ways to work even more efficiently. Now that the milk quota has been abolished, the trick is to produce as much as milk as possible per cubicle, with as little labor as possible.” 

 

Fat and protein

And it worked. The arrival of the Moov resulted almost immediately in better production. Sanders: “Within two milking sessions, fat and protein content has raised by 0.05%, and after that it has raisen even more. I worked it out and discovered that for my company it meant that I would get my investment back within two years.” 

Marc Sanders Voeraanschuifrobot JOZ Moov Koe

Less labor

Apart from better production, the Moov also saves a lot in terms of labor. Sanders has succeeded in running his company together with his wife and one member of staff. It’s a relief that there is always fodder for the cows, even at night. “I no longer have to worry about it first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. And I can go to a party in the afternoon with peace of mind because I know that the fodder will always be available for the cows.”

 

Peace and quiet in the shed

The Moov makes the cows curious, so they come to the feed gate. Sanders: “Cows are creatures of habit, and they stick to their routine.” He noted that the shed is calmer. “Those cows that are lower ranked also get their turn at the feed gate more easily, and that leads to better feed utilization and better production.”  

 

Would you like to know how much money you can save with a Moov? Click here! 

 

Moov pays for itself within two years

A minor adjustment, a major convenience. That is how you can summarize installing a Moov feed moving robot. The Moov clears the feed alleys in dairy sheds at any point in time you desire. Dairy farmer Jantinus Echten from Koekange has owned a Moov for a few weeks and sees with pleasure – as his cows do too – how the robot does its work immaculately.

Jan Echten on the Moov JOZ voeraanschuifrobot

"In addition, in my situation the Moov will recoup its costs within two years."

 

"I run a one-man operation, and that meant that previously I had to return from the fields to move the feed during the day in order to distribute the roughage. I no longer need to do that,’ Jantinus Echten says. ‘When I come into the shed in the mornings, the feed has all been neatly moved up. Because we actually have too few feeding places, it is important that feed is always present. Even more important is the welfare of the roughly 115 cows in the shed."

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Feedpusher offers solution

To increase labor efficiency and flexibility, dairy farmer W. Bink chose for a robot feed pusher.