Driverless Dairy Feed Pushing by Monarch’s MK-V

Monarch Tractor

High quality dairy products would not exist without happy, healthy, well-fed cows and the hard-working dairy farmers who care for them. Keeping cows full of nutritious food is a work-intensive process. Monarch’s MK-V Dairy, a driver-optional, data-driven, 100% electric tractor with a feed pusher implement is helping make that job easier, cleaner, safer, and more profitable for dairy farmers.   

More Food, More Milk, More Profit 

Dairy farmers take great care to provide their cows with a nutritious, wholesome blend of feed to keep them healthy and happy. But as a cow eats her food from the ground, she pushes it down and outward making it difficult to reach through the bars. The food must be pushed up, or “bladed” closer to the cows so they can reach it. This is a task dairy farmers must repeat 12-18 times per day. For pushing feed, a tractor is the preferred tool of choice.   

Driverless Dairy Feed Pushing by Monarch’s MK-V
With that level of usage on a conventional diesel tractor, fuel and maintenance expenses as well as associated labor costs escalate quickly, cutting into a farm’s profit margin. Reimagining the tractor into a valuable piece of farm technology that supports greater profitability through safer, more efficient, and cleaner operations, as Monarch has done with the MK-V, changes this equation.  

MK-V Dairy Blade

The Monarch tractor is going to be the tool that’s going to improve the profitability of every dairy farm in a big way.

Dr. Abraham Du Plessis, Dairy Consultant & Veterinarian, Progressive Dairy Solutions 

Layers of Benefits  

As an EV tractor, the MK-V brings instant fuel savings to a dairy farm. Over time, additional savings in maintenance costs and associated labor are realized. Even the feed pusher implement comes with a float mode that follows the ground’s contours, reducing the wear and tear on the blade to minimize blade replacement costs.   

The MK-V pushes cost-saving efficiency even further. As a data-driven electric tractor armed with 360-degree cameras farmers gain insights to feed operations and can watch videos of operators pushing the feed and of the cows eating, all through the Wingspan Ag Intelligence (WingspanAI) app on their computer, phone, or tablet. Armed with the data provided by real-time visibility and insights of when and where feeding occurs, a dairy farmer can make informed decisions on feeding schedules.  

The MK-V also supports a safer work environment. Zero emissions translate into zero smelly, toxic fumes being inhaled by tractor operators or cows. Operations are absent the sound of a diesel engine for more peaceful work conditions and 360-degree work lights improve visibility, even during nighttime feed pushing.  

Elevating Labor for Elevated Saving  

While dairy farmers are enthusiastic about the gains made possible with a tractor that is electric and data-driven, the MK-V is engineered to be driver-optional. Equipped with Autodrive technology, set to be released for outdoor dairy environments in the second half of 2024, the MK-V will be able to push feed without a driver in the seat. Farm teams are then free to work on other tasks while they monitor the tractor remotely. If there’s an issue, the tractor stops itself and sends an alert to the remote operator. A farm team can get more accomplished with fewer hands.  

Autonomy levels up the savings even more. With MK-V Dairy Autodrive Feed Pushing a farmer no longer needs to balance labor costs with milk production gains. Farmers can push feed more frequently. The MK-V battery has a feed-pushing run time of up to 14 hours depending on the farm and location.  

MK-V battery has a feed-pushing run time of up to 14 hours depending on the farm and location.Moreover, because the MK-V is connected, its value improves over time through updates and enhancements that are sent to the tractor automatically, much like the updates to a smart phone. In this way, Monarch has made the tractor an appreciating asset.  

This initial Autodrive Feed Pushing release focuses on outdoor uncovered feed lanes, excluding those with roofs or coverings aside from shade cloth, where the tractor operates. At this point, only straight lanes with no dead-end will be supported. Monarch looks forward to making continued strides with Autodrive Feed Pushing and more updates will be on the horizon. 

Dairy Delicious  

While the MK-V appreciates in value for a dairy farmer, dairy products are appreciated by millions of people around the world as cheese, milk, and a key ingredient in many treats. In an industry known for being at the forefront of adopting AgTech, the MK-V is proud to help dairy farmers feed their cows and the world.  

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