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The New Vector Minimum Load Feature

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

As information can change over time, If you read this outside of 6 months from the original post date, please confirm with your WCR advisor that the information is still valid and accurate.

The “minimum load” feature allows you to set a minimum weight per ration in Horizon. This guarantees that a task is created only if the bin weight is between the minimum and maximum set bin weight. If the minimum load is not reached, the MFR does not feed. The feed request is extended until more fences need feed and the minimum load is reached.

Why this feature?

This feature prevents the MFR from starting a feeding task for very small loads. This increases the overall capacity of the system. It can also be used to improve the mixing quality of fences that receive only small amounts of feed. A guideline for determining what the minimum load for a ration should be is to make sure the feed covers the top of the auger. By doing this, you increase the mixing performance of the MFR. Moreover, this can make the way the Vector combines feeding tasks more efficient, as it will wait for more loads before it will start feeding.

How does it work?

Combined feeding is something the Vector system does to save time and be more efficient. The system will always try to combine different fences and feeding tasks. This is done based on the different rations and feed height priorities.

Normally, the extended threshold used by the software for combined feeding is a 20% increase. Basically, the software “looks into the future” with a 20% stretch to see if fences may need feed in the near future. So even if fences are not yet below the threshold when scanned, the software calculates whether they will be soon. If so, the fence is combined and fed.

Once the minimum load setting is in use, the extended threshold of combined feeding is further increased to 40%(of the minimum feed height set), if necessary, after the 20% stretch has been used. This is done to prevent fences requiring feed from not being fed (because the minimum bin load is not reached).

If the extended threshold (40% increase in min feed height [mm]) does create a feed task, no further additional fences are added to prevent fences being fed too early. In other words, the software will try to obtain the minimum load using the 40% stretch and find the fence with the highest priority (difference between the set and measured feed height). If successful, it will stop adding more fences to the feed tasks.

So remember, as soon as the minimum load setting is in use, the system will use combined feeding with a 40% stretch on top of a standard 20% stretch if necessary.

How to use?

The minimum load setting can be found under the ration settings. Any minimum load is thus ration dependent.

If the value entered is 0, the setting is OFF (default setting, only 20% stretch).

As soon as a value is entered, even if it is only 1, the setting is ON.

  • Make sure that the minimum load does not exceed the maximum load or the maximum dosing weight.

  • Make sure that the ration in which the minimum load is set can be combined with other fences with the same ration. Otherwise, this fence will never be fed!

It is important to realize that some fences have to wait slightly longer for their feed because the system is waiting to combine the feeding task with another task. You can always play with the other settings, such as feed height or dosing weight, to try which combination of settings works best for the farm!

For whom? This setting is helpful for farmers who want better mixing quality for small/short fences. Think of smaller pens on dairy farms, like a separation pen or dry cow pen. But also for farmers who want to work more efficiently and save capacity when feeding small/short fences with small amounts of feed (like beef farms).

Your Vector system needs to be on software version 3.2 or above for this feature to be active

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