Cost / Benefit Analysis

Cost / Benefit Analysis: Post-dried hay technology

Sm@RT Platform EU Funding

Tool / Technology: Post-dried hay technology

Analysis prepared by (country): Estonia

Production type the tool/technology is relevant for: Dairy  / Meat / Both

Description of the “benchmark” farm for which the analysis is performed:

Country: Estonia

Production type:

Mainly outdoors / Housed 0-3 months a year / Housed 4-8 months a year / Mainly indoors

Farm grazing area: n/a

Species: Goat

Number of animals: 260 milking goats

Breed: Thuringian

Number of staff: 1


Initial set-up

Capital costs (Large items e.g. a weigh crate, auto-drafter, etc.):

 €1 – €500 /  €501- €1,000 /  €1,001-€2,500 /  €2,501-€5,000 / €5,001-€15,000 / > €15,000

Individual costs (Smaller items e.g. per tag, per sample, per collar):

€1 – €20 /  €21- €50 /  €51-€200 /  €201-€500 /  > €500

Equipment leasing costs (if not purchased):

 Annual /  Monthly /  Weekly /  €1 – €50 /  €51-€200 /  €201-€500 /  > €500

Lifetime of the technology (approximately how long will it last before needing replaced)?

 1 – 4 weeks /  1-6 months /  6 – 12 months /  1-2 years / 2-5 years / > 5 years

Farm infrastructure requirements:

Decrease / Increase /  No change /

Percentage of animals within the flock/herd that use/are equipped/take advantage of the technology?


Running costs

Power source requirements (tick all that apply):

Not required / Mains / Battery / Solar / Other

Subscription fee – Needed? Yes / No

If yes

Per flock / herd: Annual €1 – €50

Per individual animal: Monthly €51 – €200

Per unit:Weekly /€201 – €500 / Over €500

Additional licences or permits required? No / Yes – Annual / Yes – Monthly / Yes – Weekly

If yes, cost:

€1 – €50 / €51 – €200 / €201 – €500 / Over €500

Maintenance cost – included in the subscription? Yes / No / Not applicable

If no, cost per month:

€1 – €50 / €51 – €200 / €201 – €500 / Over €500

Maintenance / replacement parts:

Easy to obtain / Difficult to obtain / Not obtainable / Don’t know

Technical / mechanical support provided on farm, after purchase? Yes / No

Training requirements

Training required to install / use? Yes / No

If yes, time range?

Up to an hour / Half day / Full day / More

Additional technical advice required (e.g. advisor time)? Yes / No

Are there additional costs associated with training and/or technical advice? Yes / No


(tick all that apply)


Labour / time saving.

Accuracy of records (health, management, movements etc.).

Management decisions for animal groupings.

Better individual animal management.

Improved medicine use.

Better nutrition / meeting requirements better.

Improved use of feed resource (grazing, concentrates, etc.).

Product quality improvements (e.g. hay, carcass, growth, milk, etc.).

Increased information on production system.

Opportunity for sharing / moving device (more than one location).


Reduced stress to the animal(s).

Improved welfare of the animals(s).

Additional information on animal behaviour.

Information on water intake / water availability.

Information on food intake / food availability.


Compatibility with other devices.

Ease of data transfer to other software.

Easy to use once installed.


Reduced stress to farmer / staff.

Environmental benefits (e.g. reduced wastage, improved biodiversity, etc.)

Helps to attract new entrants in to the small ruminant industries.

Another benefit not listed? Please give details:

Complete solution for the whole farm on feeding dry hay throughout the year indoor situation. High-quality hay without silage ensures high-quality production (raw milk and milk products without Clostridial bacteria). Good animal health. Pure air in a barn. Optimization of working load (1 person could feed 500 goats a day). Possibility to earn extra income with marketing high quality hay for pet rodents.

Can be used to dry other materials than grass.

Overall summary:

Ease of use? Scale 1 (Complicated) – 10 (Simple)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Value for money (for this type of benchmark farm)?

Yes / No / Maybe

Recommend this tool/technology for use on other types of farm?

Yes / No / Maybe

Additional comments?

After the cut, the grass is allowed to wilt for one day (or less) on the field and is then transferred to bunkers.

Drying system has various sensors for monitoring air temperature and humidity at different heights of the bunker during the post drying process. The system moves valves as needed. The system uses either warm dry air from attic room or switches on the dryer for removing excess moisture from the air. This is powered by electricity mainly sourced from solar panels.

The barn has double ceiling under black tin roof. The sun heats black roof, the air is heated and directed through tunnels to the bunkers. The dried hay is delivered by a suspended forklift on overhead rails. This system ensures year-round high quality hay for the feeding of dairy goats.

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