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Automated milking systems explained

By Dairy News

Milking from the armchair, fact or fiction? This is what researchers from the Milking Edge project will reveal to dairy farmers when they visit Dookie College in May, as part of The Murray Muster.

Milking Edge is a three-year project to develop a training program, resources and networks to support farmers to consider, invest and operate Automatic Milking Systems. The project is run by the NSW Department of Primary Industries in collaboration with Dairy Australia and DeLaval.

Lead researcher Nicolas Lyons said the project was designed to address some of the common questions raised around this technology.

“Farmers who are interested in AMS really want to know: Will it save me labour units? Will it save me time? Will it impact on production?” Dr Lyons said.

“Our project aims to address these questions, not only by looking at the potential of AMS but how it’s being used on commercial farms.”

The project builds on a decade of existing research and the experience of 50 farms across Australia who have decided to invest in the technology.

In their presentation at The Murray Muster, researchers will share the fundamental concepts of successful AMS farming and the major differences between conventional and robotic systems.

The researchers will also present performance and economic data from current AMS farms in Australia and overseas.

“We want to help farmers optimise AMS,” Dr Lyons said.

“That means understanding what robots can and can’t do; and setting up the farm and processes to make the most of the system. Or for others it might be reading and interpreting data, and then knowing what to do with it.”

You can catch the Milking Edge team on day one of The Murray Muster — Murray Dairy’s two-day regional event on May 22–23. Tickets are available online or by calling Murray Dairy.