Farm Ireland

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Lely shows off Tedder, mower and baler updates

Bruce Lett

Switzerland was the venue where family-owned Dutch firm Lely Welger recently invited buyers from around the world to its bi-annual demonstration of the latest in agricultural technology

more than 30 Lely Welger Irish dealers travelled to Switzerland in June to Lely's bi-annual field day.

It's a working event where the Dutch firm demonstrates its grass products mainly to Lely Welger dealers from around the world.

In total, some 900 people from 30 countries attended the firm's demonstration.

Lely is still a family-owned business and current CEO of the Lely group is Alexander van der Lely.

The firm's products can be split into two categories, though both serve agriculture and dairy farmers in particular.

The agricultural machinery division is what we are probably most familiar with here in Ireland.

The 'robotic' division is responsible for innovations such as the Lely Astronaut milking machine, in addition to several other high-tech farming aids.

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This year the firm is celebrating its 20th anniversary since the introduction of its robotic milking machine.

Alexander van der Lely claims that 12,500 Lely robotic milking machines have been built to date.

"We are looking to a future where farmers are not dependent on subsidies.

"We would like to generate energy-neutral operations on dairy farms," he said.

Just this month the firm bought a small, specialised German wind turbine firm, Aircon, in a bid to explore green energy solutions.

Biogas is another area that the firm may develop, although Mr Van der Lely did not see much potential for his firm branching into the already flooded market of solar panels.

In total, Lely invests 6pc of its annual sales in R&D.

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