do you think is the biggest benefit of going robotic?
Kirt Sloan, Western USA VMS Sales Specialist – DeLaval
The biggest benefit is for the cow. She moves on her schedule, which does many things, most of which reduce stress by moving when she wants and getting up and down at her pace. This is a big deal!! A quote I have heard recently is, “milk production is a response to the absence of stress”. This is simple and yet profound. The barn environment and nutrition have major effect on cow comfort and performance. This combined with reducing stress and getting out of her way allows her to perform at an optimal level and live a long healthy life. “Robots milk cows, management makes milk,” is a quote from a robotic operator that makes perfect sense. Proper layouts can also gain significant labor savings on larger installations. Robotic milking is a team sport where all team members need to be focused on the goals of the farm.
The increasing capital requirements require due diligence and testing of the financial strength of the operation to assure success. The biggest benefit to the producer is creating an atmosphere of attraction for both hired labor and family. People want a better future.
A future-focused business shifts the operational direction of decision making to the next decade rather than the next milk check.
Wally Matheson, Project Manager & Farm Management Support – Lely Canada
The biggest benefit of going robotic is improved cow welfare. With a free-flow milking robot, The cow:
- has lower stress. She is not herded in large tight groups or forced through small spaces. Her interactions with other cows and humans are lower stress
- Lives on her own natural schedule, using more hours per day for eating, drinking and resting for a more productive and healthier life
- is fed better. Free Flow cows have higher rumination minutes and more meals per day. Her base mixed ration has higher percentage forage more suited to her post calving needs. The visit to the robot is a chance to supplement her nutrition as she progresses in her lactation and has higher production
- has better herd dynamics. First lactation and fresh cows join groups easier.
- is monitored better. Her milk, rumination and activity can all be checked for changes and problems. Farmers tell me that when a cow is developing an issue, they can often see it 24 hours sooner than they could before robots.
- is available to get more milkings in early on in lactation and when producing more, which means better udder health
of our clients who have adapted to robotic dairying on their farm have reported
more productive cows, healthier cows and longer living cows. The producer is
actively engaged in managing the cows for more time during the day instead of
attaching cups, which makes them more engaged in the operation and more excited
to dairy farm.
Richard Siebring, Pacific Dairy Centre, GEA
We feel at Pacific Dairy Centre, a GEA dealer, that the biggest Benefit in choosing robotic milking for the dairy farmer is that the system is easily tailored to each and every cow’s need during the entire lactation cycle of the cow. This creates a barn environment that is very quiet and stress free for the cow. Added benefits allow for individual cow’s milking and nutritional requirements.
With Robotic milking the dairy farmer has more time to look at reports on a per quarter basis generated from GEA DairyPlan software to perform cow health management.
As “knowing your farmer” is becoming bigger and bigger in the consumer’s eyes, the GEA robotic systems assures the dairy farmer of achieving the highest milk quality possible. The features and benefits of the GEA robotic system give them true analysis of the milk from the start of the milking until the last drop of milk with full control per quarter of what milk goes to the consumer.