Can On-Farm NIR Analysis Improve Feed Management?

Farm Food Management 2Feed cost is one of the largest expenses on dairy farms. In addition to being a major cost, over feeding, under feeding or feeding an improperly balanced diet can impair cow health, decrease milk production, and result in negative environmental impacts. Regular dry matter (DM) testing of feeds and rebalancing the ration to compensate for DM changes ensures that dairy producers are feeding the ration formulated by their nutritionist. Where trade names appear, no discrimination is intended, and no endorsement by Penn State Extension or by the author is implied.

Frequency and Methods of Dry Matter Determination

The frequency at which dairy farms test forages for DM varies from farm to farm. Penn State recommends weekly testing of silage DM. While some test this frequently, many dairy farmers or their nutritionists will test once or twice a month. Less frequent testing results in a greater chance of missing a change in silage DM and an improperly formulated ration.

The most common methods of on-farm DM analysis are using a Koster tester or microwave oven. Either of these methods will work, but they can take 20 to 30 minutes and must be monitored to make sure the samples are not over heated.

Near Infrared (NIR) Analysis

Near-infrared technology has been used in commercial laboratories to analyze feed and other agricultural products for years. NIR measures the light (in the near-infrared spectrum) reflected off of a sample of interest when analyzed in a spectrophotometer. NIR is faster and lower cost than using traditional wet chemistry methods to determine the nutritional composition and DM of feeds.

Only recently has NIR technology been applied to an on-farm setting. On-farm systems work similarly to NIR used in a lab setting; a feed sample is put in front of a scanner, the scanner analyzes the feed sample, and the result is returned to the farmer or nutritionist who then can make management decisions regarding the feed.

On-farm NIR greatly decreases the amount of time it takes for a farmer to receive information about the composition of feed being fed to his dairy cows. Traditional wet chemistry methods of feed analysis often take a week or more from the time the sample is collected to the time the results are returned to the farmer or nutritionist. With laboratory NIR the turnaround time from when a sample is collected to the time the results are back can be decreased to a few days. With on-farm NIR results are returned instantly to the farmer, allowing management decisions to be made on the spot.

Application of On-farm NIR Analysis

One on-farm NIR system available is the Dinamica General precisionFEEDING system. This system utilizes an NIR analyzer mounted in the bucket of the tractor. Each time feed is scooped into the bucket the analyzer scans the feed and the amount of feed needed to be added to the mixer is adjusted based on the DM content of the feed. Samples are also analyzed for crude protein, NDF, ADF, ash, fat, and starch.
Dry matter content of corn silage can vary widely from day to day. While the average of these readings would be around 32 or 33% DM, the range went from as low as 25% DM to as high as 41% DM over the six months shown here. Much of the variation in DM content, especially the very low readings, is likely related to precipitation events. By adjusting the ration on the spot, cows receive a more consistent ration from day to day and feed waste can potentially be reduced.

As an example, if a ration calls for 50 pounds of corn silage on an as-fed basis and DM is assumed to be 33%, 16.5 pounds of corn silage DM will be fed. For each one-point deviation of the actual %DM from the assumed %DM the dairy farmer will over or under feed 0.5 pounds of corn silage per cow per day. If the actual DM of the corn silage is 28% the cows will only receive 14 pounds of corn silage on a dry matter basis.

An Italian study compared dairy farms using on-farm NIR systems (dg precisionFEEDING System) with farms not using the system (study summary). In this study, feed costs were $0.09 per cow per day less and milk production was 5.6 pounds more per cow per day (65.9 vs. 71.5 pounds/cow per day) on farms using the NIR system than on farms not using the system. For a 200-cow dairy this would result in approximately $73,584 of increased revenue from milk sales (assuming $18/cwt milk) and a $6,570 savings in feed cost per year. Increased production was attributed to a more consistent ration being delivered to the herd. Lower feed cost was attributed to being able to feed more precisely to the needs of the herd and thus decreasing feed waste. The study also reported an improvement in the general health of the herd, based on changes in blood parameters and a reduction in mastitis.

Exactly how Animal Agriculture Impacts The Environment?

Animal Enviromental Impact 2We might believe it matters not way too much just what we eat or how our food is produced. Nevertheless, it ends up that the whole planet is now based on the food choices each people makes on a daily basis. It is real to say that many people conscientiously try to reduce their effect on the environment by walking, bike-riding or car-pooling instead of driving, by increasing their very own veggies in your home, as well as by minimizing power consumption. Yet, there is one act that could limit the impact on the environment immensely, which is to just pick what we eat a little bit more carefully.

Extinction of types and danger to water products

Meat as well as dairy manufacturing makes use of a third of world earth’s fresh consuming water. Pet agriculture makes use of 55 % of our fresh water reserves. In order to produce a one pound beef burger, around 3000 litres of fresh water is called for, which includes irrigation of the grains and also lawns in feed plus water for alcohol as well as processing. Consider that a typical bath takes around 80 litres of water whereas the ordinary electrical shower sprays out around 6 litres a minute.

Methane gas from cattle overshadows the damages to the environment from carbon emissions as a result of international production and also transport. Actually, 51 % of all greenhouse gas exhausts originate from pet farming, baseding on the Food and also Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Furthermore, cultivatable land is consumed and forests are hacked to make more space for cattle ranches. Data show that between 4000 to 8000 square meters of virgin rainforest is removed every minute and 91 % of this logging is to make even more area available for pet agriculture. On a daily basis, animal varieties are lost because of rainforest devastation. Animal farming is amongst the leading causes of ocean dead zones, water pollution as well as wild environment devastation.

A person who consumes a vegan diet plan makes 50 % much less CARBON DIOXIDE as well as makes use of an 11th of the nonrenewable fuel sources, a 13th of the water and an 18th of the land as compared to a meat-eater, according to a research study led by ecologist Peter Scarborough and also his team of scientists. Going vegan or taking steps to reduce and/or eventually get rid of animal healthy protein from our diet plans is the most efficient method to decrease our CO2 discharges as well as conserve our water as well as forests.

Close Look At Natural Farming

Natural Farming 4Farming is the only indispensable occupation, as it is the source of sustaining life. In addition, this life support system seems to be undergoing a lot of change in terms of cultivation as well as marketing. This mutual change of perception towards farming can be attributed to the fact, that day-by-day, there has been an increase in population, leading to an increased demand for food too Considering this huge demand for vegetables and a gap between the demand and supply of vegetables has led to the introduction of conventional farming to match the requirement. However, various experts have been saying that the yield produced of natural farming are rich with nutrients and, therefore, people should avoid conventional farming. So, before we dig deep into what and how of natural farming, here is a look at what exactly natural farming is all about:

“Natural farming also known as organic farming is an ecological farming method introduced by Japanese. This method focuses at avoidance of manufactured inputs and equipments. In addition, natural farming like its name is focussed at cultivation the natural way.” Experts have been stating that the yield produced out of natural farming are filled with the needed nutrients and prove to be a boon when consumed. Therefore, experts have been suggesting various organic farming methods like using of various organic ingredients instead of chemicals to give the plants the needed strength and nutrition to grow. In addition, organic farming methods also include the use of manure made the natural way through animals and compost instead of fertilizers that increase the risk of the affecting the soil quality after a some years. Farmers who opt for natural farming opt for crop rotation to maintain the quality of the soil.

There are many effective ways of protecting the crop through organic farming methods. Instead of pesticides that in addition to protecting the crop, kill the various natural crop protectors like frogs and birds. Therefore, organic farming methods focus at creating new living areas for wasps, bugs, beetles that are considered to be the best natural pesticides. However, here is a look at the glaring difference between natural farming and conventional farming:

1. Conventional method uses the application of chemical fertilizers to the soil to grow crops, whereas organic builds soil through use of natural ways
2. Conventional way of protecting crops is through spraying insecticides and pesticides whereas organic way encourages on relying on natural enemies of pests.
3. In a conventional method, herbicides are used to control or to remove weeds. However, in an organic way, weeds are manually pulled.

Thus, with stark contrast and salient features, it is proved that natural farming is the best. In addition, it is also suggested by many for the following benefits:

a. Helps the farmers to reduce their production cost
b. Helps healthy farms
c. From a long term perspective, natural farming helps save energy and protect the environment too
d. Helps slow down global warming
e. Does not pollute the ground water
f. Helps balance the biodiversity

Thus, with so many benefits many are trying their level best to shift to natural farming. However, to get maximum yields through natural farming, one needs to know the various ways and techniques thoroughly. Therefore, Mahendra Trivedi reviews regularly the various ways and means of natural farming.

Types of Agriculture Pumps

Agriculture Pump 2


Being a farmer, it is always hard for him to find out what works well in his fields. Maintaining the fertility of the soil and keeping it all look green is sometimes one of the hardest battles that a farmer usually face. Unfortunately, if he is not making use of the necessary measures, all his work goes in vain. This is because, other than just maintaining the fertility of the soil there are many other things that are necessary for a farmer to be deemed about. For example, where to get the consistent water flow?…There are basically three factors which are responsible for a high yield in the fields;

Advanced agricultural facilities
Water pumps for irrigation

Due to growing modern technology, many effective equipments have been designed which has put an impact on the growth of crops in the recent years. Let us find out the different types of water pumps which are being used for agriculture purposes nowadays.

Solar pumps

Solar Pumps, as the name signifies work on the sun power and they possess a photovoltaic cell which takes the sun energy to charge up and the pump starts to work pretty similar to the other ones which are electrically driven. Thus, these pumps are always installed having their photovoltaic cells facing the sun. Due to their high efficiency engines, these pumps are capable to pump gallons of water in a minute.

Submersible Pumps

The best thing about these kinds of pumps units is that these pumps work while having submerged inside the well so the noise factor is reduced in this case. A large number of farmers are opting for the usage of these pumps because they offer high efficiencies, low maintenance, and high capacity engines.

Monoblock Pumps

The monoblock series, as the name suggests is comprised of a compact shape and size units and these pumps are being utilized for varied agricultural applications. They are easy to install and operate and are free of any requirements related to couplings and base plates, which is also a factor that these pump units are quite less costly than the other pump systems. Undoubtedly, monoblock pumps offer a convenient solution to drive water rapidly in the big farms.

Booster Pumps

Booster pumps are most demanded among their supporters and these pumps have a big role to play in driving water faster than the normal in your household water lines. These pumps are comprised of an expansion tank and a bladder and they work via generating pressure in the tank.

Water pumps are no wonder a great facility available for an ordinary farmer. It all depends on which water pump you choose among a variety of options that are available to help support your crops grow beyond your expectations. Above article must have provided you the sufficient information about water pumps and so now you can think of buying one depending upon your requirements.

Wish you a good luck!

Creative Farmhouse Designs You Would Love

It is not enough to just own a farmhouse. In fact, to make everything complete, you need to add in the essential details outside and inside your rustic home. Speaking of details, it is important to take note of the things you need to purchase in order to acquire your desired goals. If you are thinking about achieving a ranch design in your place, here are some creative farmhouse designs that you would love:

  • Bed boards

Truly a magnificent sight to look at, with a bed board attached as a backsplash or used as a wall, one can truly feel the oozing rustic hint throughout the area. To add more charm, you can paint the boards with baby blue or white colors.

  • Open Wooden Shelves

Typical on a farmhouse design, shelves without covers certainly work magic. With it being open, you can not only use it as a storage area, but you can also freely use this advantage to display glass containers and other home decors.

  • Wooden Countertops

No one could deny that a wooden countertop is a staple among farmhouses. With its lovely surface, visitors will surely marvel at your warm kitchen and dining area.

  • White Porcelain Dishes

To emphasize the rustic feeling on your wooden shelves and countertops, use white dishes for an immaculate touch. You can even use the old ones too. With white dishes as your main material, you’ll create an elegant, stylish, and simple look.

  • DIY Wooden Box

A DIY wooden box is easy to create. Just collect some small wooden planks and attach them together to form a box. This wooden box will do well as a container for fresh flowers. You can place this on top on your dining table or living room desks.

  • Beat-up Tables

If some people will turn their noses on beat-up tables, farmhouse enthusiasts will lovingly accept them into their homes. Choose tables from thrift stores or on vintage shops to get the cheapest and the most compatible one for your treasured home.

  • Essential Fabrics

If you want to create a country style home, choosing fabrics must be taken with caution. Examples of farmhouse fabrics include burlap, ticking, grain sack, or linen.

  • Wooden Crates

Definitely a creative way to provide storage, a wooden crate will do well on your front patio as a container for reading materials, porch pillows, or any other materials you can think of.

  • Used Stepladder

If you have a tiny beat-up stepladder that you don’t use anymore, you can actually bring a new purpose to this by using it as a side table. It is another fun and unique way to recycle because you’ll get to place decorative objects on it like reclaimed picture frames, books, clocks, and other exciting stuff.

If you are one of those people dreaming to have a farmhouse, you can start achieving that goal now. To give you some home ideas on where to find great services, visit Armstrong steel reviews to get inspired.

How I Achieved Maximum Success with Postcards

Helpful Tips For Business Owners Who Are Interested in Postcard Marketing Campaigns

In this day and age, business proprietors have access to such a wide range of advertising tactics that it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones are actually worth trying. Today’s most popular marketing choices, like social media blasts and search engine optimization, aren’t usually appropriate for proprietors who know next-to-nothing about how modern technology works. If you’re interested in launching a new advertising campaign that uses a tried-and-true method, you’ll benefit from reading this article.

The next several paragraphs you’ll see here detail hints that will help you mail effective postcards to tell people in your area about your company’s product or service offerings. Postcards do come with their challenges, mainly because recipients frequently toss them in the trash before they even look at them. Fortunately, though, there are ways to combat this problem. If you take these tips to heart, you ought to discover that postcards are still a great way to draw new clients to your establishment.

Think About Who Your Target Audience Really Is

If the marketing campaigns that you’ve launched lately haven’t brought as many patrons through your doors as you thought they would, you may soon be forced to admit that you don’t know as much as your target market as you once believed you did. If you want to make sure your clients won’t toss the postcards you send them, it’s imperative for you to understand the types of likes and dislikes that they have as a group. If, for instance, you own a high-end women’s clothing retailer that caters to stay-at-home wives, using edgy, black postcards might not be the ideal choice.

Create Copy That Features a Great Hook

When people see postcards that showcases catchy hooks, the odds that they’ll toss them in the trashcan are significantly lower than they would normally be. Therefore, as you develop the copy for your mailers, include something that will draw your recipients in as soon as they open their mailboxes. Some options include special offers, fun and memorable taglines, and personalized messages. Regardless of what sort of hook you opt to go with, it should fit with your target market’s likes and dislikes.

Bring-In Professional Help If You Need To

If you are struggling to decide how your postcards should look and what they should say, now might be the right time for you to sign a contract with a marketing group that can assist you. Typically, advertising agencies are more-than-happy to provide their clients with a wealth of resources as they develop postcards to send out in their local areas. Some of these firms even have market research departments, which can be useful if you are struggling to figure out what your audience’s tastes really are.


Understanding Trucks

Things That You Don’t Know About Vacuum Trucks Until Now

If you want to secure that you will have a clean environment, then it will be in everyone’s best interest to notice the importance of vacuum trucks because technically speaking, they are very important in securing and cleaning an environment’s waste. Due to it being that the number of population in our world today has increased rapidly, making sure that the environment is clean should be prioritized because this will then affect a large area should these things are not properly administered and taken care of.

Generally speaking, if you are in an area where drainage is blocked, or perhaps you own a restaurant that has encountered drainage because of grease, then looking to get a vacuum truck clean everything should be prioritized because they should be able to secure and clean such easily.

Due to it being that there are a number of cases that these vacuum trucks offer just about the right service, many people from then on wants to know more about specifically what these things are capable of doing and what their services usually are. So that you will be able to understand more about what vacuum trucks really are and what categories do they belong, we will be discussing them further in this article so you will be aware.

It really is important that you know at this point that a vacuum truck’s vacuum system plays a huge role in defining how the end result will become because this is what gets the job done. There will be a number of components that you will find and usually, the system contains a pump, tank, hose and operating panel.

If you are going to look for vacuum trucks, make sure that you know what category you will look into because there will be a number of these that you should consider, one of which is the liquid and dry materials and these are the ones that you will find in emergency clean-ups, regardless if it is dry or wet. Keep in mind that regardless if the material is hazardous or not, as long as they are in liquid or solid state, they should be catered accordingly.

There are also the types of vacuum trucks that is only capable of handling liquid materials, which is also called as tankers, which, as the name specifies, is capable of handling and cleaning liquid, may they be hazardous or not, as long as they are between 3,000 to 6,000 gallons of liquid form.

Another type of vacuum truck that we will be discussing and talking about is the high velocity vacuum truck, which is able to suck any liquid or solid form, hazardous or not, fine or as chunk as bricks, specifically hard to reach places.

Although these things can rarely be seen in public, still, it is best that you will acknowledge their capabilities at this point so you will have the best option in mind already should such cases happen.


The Benefits of Insurance for SME (Small-Medium Enterprise)

The Benefits of Insurance for SME (Small-Medium Enterprise)With all the expenses involved in creating a start-up business including the cost of supply, rent, and the expenses on basic utilities, insurance may be the last thing that an SME owner may consider.  Most of the local business owner thinks that owning insurance is an unnecessary expense especially if you are trying to keep up with the everyday expenses needed to maintain the function of your business.  But before you decided to cancel the idea of getting the insurance, you need to know about the things that you are missing.

The Advantages of Having Business Insurance for SME

Insurance is not a luxury or an unnecessary expense.  It will safeguard you to the risk and guarantee that your business will continue on its original function even during the times of disasters.  The insurance agency will be handling the expenses during a vehicular accident of a company vehicle or the damages in the event that your business suffers a bursting pipe.  We all heard about the chilling horror stories that SME owners had to face which can be prevented with the help of the business insurance.

Protect you FromCompany’s Liability

One of the most prevalent claims faced by SME would be the personal injury complaint.  In the absence of the insurance, the company will be solely responsible for providing financial aid to his employees in the event that he acquired injury or harm during work hours.  You will also need to face other law charges since liability policy is generally required by the law.  So essentially, you are being disobedient with the law.  With the liability insurance, you are transferring the expenses to the insurance agency.

Protect You against Theft

SME are prone to thefts due to their minimum amount of security.  It is very costly to invest in state of the art security equipment, and it will just add to your monthly utility bills.  Even the data stored on their online database is prone to hacker since they cannot afford an added amount of security for their CRM website.  Last December 2015, Mozy has already advice their local business clients about the risk of getting burglarised.  Even your gadget contains data that can pose a risk to your security.  By acquiring insurance for your small business, you are safeguarding yourself from the effects including the long-term effect of theft of ramification.  It is so essential for you to be protected against data theft and burglary, during this event, you will not only lose profit and resources, but there is a tendency that you will also lose the trust of the consumers and your credibility to run a business.

Finally, the insurance for the small businesses will tell if the company will survive during unexpected times.  SME should invest in insurance since this factor is also desirable for large companies and government agencies.  So if you are eyeing for a long term, insurance will definitely be your partner.  It doesn’t have to be costly; the amount of your insurance will rely on the nature of your business.

What Is Sheet Piling & What Is It Used for?

When setting up foundations for a new building, or perhaps building a subterranean structure such as an underground car park one of the most popular methods used is sheet piling.

But what exactly is sheet piling and what are some of the situations in which it would be used?

What is it?

Sheet piling is a method of supporting the foundations of a building with prefabricated interlocking steel sheets (known as sheet piles). The sheet piles are driven into the ground in sequential a installation to create a continuous barrier which holds back the earth.

Sheet piles are normally made from steel (although concrete is sometimes used), which gives them an extremely long service life.

They’re usually installed using a vibrating hammer to drive them into the ground, but if the soil is too hard or dense then impact hammers can also be used.

Alternatively, if the piles are being installed in an area where vibrations are a concern (for example if it might affect older structures nearby), then the piles could be hydraulically pushed into the ground.

One of the other great things about sheet piling is that it’s a very sustainable approach as recycled steel is used. After a building has been demolished, the piles can usually be taken out of the ground and reused.

There are two main methods of creating sheet piles, hot rolled and cold formed. As the name suggests, hot rolled piles are made at much higher temperatures and their interlocks are much tighter and more durable.

Cold formed piles are usually smaller and not as strong, with looser interlocks, so are not recommended for deep driving and are more likely to be used in situations requiring low permeability.

For a visual representation of exactly how sheet piling works, check out this animation.

When is it used?

Sheet piling is most commonly used to create retaining walls and cofferdams which are often temporarily set up to allow more permanent works to be carried out although it can be used permanently itself.

Common instances where you might see sheet piling used include underground car parking structures, basements, pump houses and foundations, however, they’re also used in lots of marine structures, such as seawalls and bulkheads.

Essentially, any construction project which is carried out below ground can make use of sheet piling.

Why is it used?

The main reason sheet piling is often used is because of its extreme resistance to driving stresses as well as being relatively lightweight which makes it easier to lift and handle.

Its steel construction means it can last an extremely long time and can also be taken out and reused on other projects.

The only real disadvantages of sheet piling are that it can be difficult to install in some areas if there are lots of boulders or cobbles and it can sometimes cause disturbance both in terms of the surrounding land and the noise that installation can produce.