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– More efficient usage and life cycle management for silage bales

Digital bale – More efficient usage and life cycle management for silage bales

Digital bale project aims at building a tracking system which is based on RFID-tag on every bale. Bale data e.g. weather and GPS-spot of the bale among several other data can be read afterwards with a tag reader. The bale list, the GPS path and the point where the bale was dropped can be seen with mobile device. It is possible to print various reports based on the bale list. Baling machine operator can mark individual bales with special quality notifications such as “no preservative”, “wet”, “soily”. Bale data stored in the cloud can be integrated into farm management system. This way a great amount of information such soil type, fertilization, farming history, even crop on particular section of a field in previous years is combined into one file. Later on, analyzed chemical composition and nutritional data can be added on the bales, which makes feeding plans much more precise. Better tracking of bales improves quality management and the planning of bale storage and transportation. Digitalization of bales enables not only trading of bales, but also recycling of bale binding materials, binding net and plastic. Therefore, we also want to pilot webpage platform for bale and plastics trade.

Ration formulation improvement

Easy collection and more precise bale data make ration formulation more reliable. Low quality bales can be detected and removed from feed resources already at early stage. When bale data is combined with analyzed and known composition data of other feeds, the best suitable rations for the particular herd and production potential can be formulated. With the help of digital bale data a bale usage plan for the whole production year can be formulated. This plan also takes into account herd potential and e.g. calfing cycle. The feeds that make the best ration will be reserved for the top calfing and production period.

Digipaali-project (digital bale project) belongs to EIP-AGRI partnership network

The creation of the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) gave an impetus to knowledge creation and sharing, the quidelines of which this project also follows. EIP-AGRI combines agricultural research with practical doing on the farms. It concentrates on productivity and sustainability of agriculture in the EU area. Digital bale project acts as one member of EIP-AGRI partnership network.

More information: https://ec.europa.eu/eip/agriculture/en/about

Name, duration and funding of the project

Digital bale – More efficient usage and life cycle management for silage bales

Project duration Jan 1, 2018 – Dec 31, 2020

Digital bale project is carried out in collaboration between Bioeconomy and Smart Services research units of HAMK and Production Systems unit of Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland. Feasibility of the outcome of the project is ensured by the innovation group that consists of the scientists and four dairy farmers using over 10 000 silage bales annually.

This project is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry via Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland 2014–2020 and belongs to the EU´s EIP-AGRI network.

Target groups

Direct target groups of digital bale project are feed bale users such as dairy and beef farms and horse farms. Entrepreneurs who offer baling services also play a central role as well as baler manufacturing industry. Those who market gras silage preservatives, binding nets and covering plastics make up an indirect target group. Surplus and low quality bales would make good raw material for biogas plants as well.

Focusing on research and development

Häme University of Applied Sciences
Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) is a multidisciplinary higher education institution situated centrally in the most populated area of southern Finland. The aim of the Bioeconomy research unit is to enhance bioeconomy as part of circular economy in rural and urban environments.

LUKE (Natural Research Institute Finland)
Researchers and specialists working in Luke provide new solutions towards the sustainable development of the Finnish bioeconomy and the promotion of new biobased businesses. Together with our partners we will build a society based on bioeconomy.

Farmers from the area of Kanta-Häme
Four innovative dairy farmers from Kanta-Häme play a very important role in this project. With their help and comments feasibility of project outcome is ensured. They also spread information about the project in their own networks.