Automatic milking is becoming more and more interesting to milk producers around the world. In the next few months we will post interviews and articles about AMS milking. For the curious, but also for those of you who are already milking with robots, for benchmarking and sharing of best practices. Let us know if there is any particular subject within Automatic Milking that you would like to read more about.
Automatic Milking Systems AMS
The introduction of automatic milking affects all parts of a farm operation, not just the milking, and it is important to have a realistic picture of what to expect. Successful adoption of automatic milking depends on the management skills of the farmer as well as on the barn layout and farming conditions. Read more about changing to an AMS in the article Managing the change to Automatic Milking.
AM systems require a higher investment than conventional milking systems, but increased milk yields and savings on labour can lead to lower fixed costs per kg milk and increased margins per full-time employee FTE.
Animal health and Milk quality
Animal health and well-being is not negatively affected in an automatic milking system, no adverse effects have been found for body condition, lameness or teat condition. Milk quality is somewhat negatively affected, but not below penalty levels, and the system provides means to assure milk quality and food safety.
Read more about the development of automatic milking, the impact for the daiy farmers that adopt the new technology and the opportunities and challenges involved in this article, Automatic Milking - Common practice on dairy farms, by Kees de Koning, from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
In the Dairy farms section milk producers from different parts of the world share their experiences of the transition from conventional to automatic milking.
Automatic Milking Rotaries AMR
Using the same automatic technology, but adapted for larger herds, an automatic milking rotary AMR was introduced on the market last year.
DeLaval's robotic milking researchers recently showcased their new automatic milking rotary for international journalists at a 415-cow dairy that has been testing the technology since 2010 in Gamleby, Sweden. The five robot arms in the parlor – two to clean, two to attach and one to post-dip – milk 390 of the dairy's cows in a 24-stall rotary parlor. Read more about the Odenvikholm farm in this article: Swedish dairy farm shows off world's first robotic milking rotary
The Dornauf family in Tasmania will be the first commercial dairy farm using this technology.
The Laproma Farm in Schlossvippach, Germany has also signed up for an AMR. The farm is currently milking 900 cows and sees opportunities for growth. A whole new site will be set up for the DeLaval AMR and will consist of a new barn and dairy center that will be built up in two phases from 2011-2013 for an additional 800 cows. The first milking is planned for September 2012.
Read more about the automatic milking rotary on the DeLaval web site.