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Enhancing efficiency and accuracy with Micro Technologies machines

By Micro Technologies

Technology enables the future of dairy production

"There are a hundred things that have to go right every day on a dairy for it to run, and our job is to help streamline the feeding of the cows so the dairyman doesn't have to do that part of it." One of those systems that Max Koster, Senior Director of Sales, Micro Technologies refers to is Micro Technologies' . These machines have had a presence in the beef industry for 50-plus years, but Micro's is just beginning to have a presence in the dairy sector.

Measurement matters

"It's in the best interest of the cow to make sure that they're getting each ingredient in precise amounts," says Koster. As a dairy producer, you prioritize the well-being of your animals, and the crucial micro-ingredients in their feed are a key part of their health. But are they truly getting the correct ratios recommended by your nutritionist?

"It all comes back to cow comfort. We want to make sure they're getting the minerals they need to be happy and comfortable and, of course, produce milk," remarks customer Garrett DeVries of Morning Star Dairy in Dalhart, Texas. "You can depend on the Micro system. It's better than the human putting [feed] in manually."

Micro's machines play a crucial role in enhancing the efficiency of dairy producers' operations. One of their key features is their individual micro-ingredient bins, which Micro has meticulously designed to ensure precise feeding. This precision is essential when incorporating essential components like amino acids, trace minerals, vitamins, yeast, bacterial cultures, enzymes, ionophores, and other Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved additives into the cows' diets.

The system also contributes to improved ingredient traceability by recording the exact amount of each ingredient added to the mix, allowing for more accurate inventory control.

If you're feeding the cows better and they're able to get all the nutrients they need, they will perform better. This will lead to more revenue for your dairy's customers.

Working with Micro's machines enables improved accuracy and measurability. Consider the following questions about your operations:

  • How much of each nutrient is in each bite of feed?
  • Is your current feed system flexible to adjust for production levels or is it pre-measured and mixed?
  • Is your current feed consistent for each bite? Is there any difference from day to day or bag to bag?
  • How confident are you in the accuracy of ingredient distribution to each cow?
  • Does your current feed system allow for daily report cards for each ingredient, so you know for sure?

If your dairy is unable to track the use and accuracy of its feed, then bringing in a Micro machine would make answering these operational questions easier.

"We just make their job easier through technology. Through accuracy and traceability, we help eliminate shrink," explains Keith Wright, Director, Regional Sales, Micro Technologies.

Reduce waste

With feed costs making up, on average, 60 percent of expenses,1 keeping tight control of where feed goes matters to a dairy's budget.

"These minerals we're talking about, they're the most expensive feed on a dairy. And to be able to control where they go on every batch of feed, it's really cool," says Wright.

Using a Micro machine enables you to reduce the loss of essential ingredients. Imagine shifting sand between your hands. No matter how careful you are, some sand will fall through each time you handle it. Feeding without a Micro machine works the same way. In multistep mixing, some of the product leaks out each time you handle it. A Micro machine streamlines the process into single-step handling, minimizing product shrink.

Through more accurate addition of micro-ingredients, you can significantly reduce losses. Consider the method of loading supplements through a loader bucket. Winds come along and blow away some of the feed. There's no way to know how much is lost. There's no way to know if each cow in the pen is getting the correct amount of micro-ingredients in their portion. In the new system, you weigh an exact amount of each ingredient. With this greater control comes greater knowledge of precisely what's in your inventory. And the more you know, the more you can manage expenses and mitigate losses.

Get back valuable time

But perhaps one of the strongest arguments for including a micro-feed machine in dairy is efficiency. Consulting with Micro Technologies helps find — and fix — lags in the feeding process. Consider a dairy that is adding liquids to each batch of feed at the end of the process. By adding this step to the batching software and bringing it up to the middle of the process, dairy operators save valuable feeding time. Reexamining the order of feeding the pens may knock off 20 minutes a day. What would you do with 20 extra minutes in your day?

From a business perspective, consider what an extra hour saved in feed mixing and delivery could do for your schedule and bottom line. "It's all about finding the efficiencies, and Micro saves us on labor," explains DeVries. Perhaps you can apply that labor to other areas of your operation. Or use the time saved by employing a Micro machine to run a leaner operation. Such technology enables dairy producers to make smarter choices about how they run their businesses.

Ultimately, the aim of Micro's machines is to provide a lower cost of production for a high-value product. Though any dairy producer with enough cattle can purchase and operate the machines, partnering with an experienced company like Micro Technologies moves the process from good to great. Our nearly 50 years of experience placing these machines in the beef industry give us the confidence to innovate in the dairy space while, of course, respecting the inherent differences between its sectors. Behind the scenes, research and development is solving future problems, anticipating the needs of dairy customers like you.

"Micro is more of a partner, than a vendor, in my opinion," says DeVries.

1. Texas dairy producers face challenges amid good milk prices. Agrilife Today. 14 Feb 2023. Accewssed 8 Jan 2024. Available at:


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