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23rd February, 2019

Robot Milking of a Dairy Herd

On a farm visit this morning outside Stracone, in Co. Antrim, visited a dairy herd which had a Lely robot in place to milk currently 60 cows.

What appealed to me on this farm was the calmness in the housing environment with the cows. The cows were completely at ease in the production system. The cows come and go to the feed station come robot on the basis of a predicted yield. Cows producing 50 litres plus are allowed to come 4 times per day to the feed station for milking.

Cows in the range 30-50 litres are allowed to come 5 times per day and those less than 30 litres, two times per day. This client informed me that his total costs of productions are 26 pence per litre which leaves very little profit in the business. However, he hopes to increase numbers over time as he has a housing facility to accommodate same.

Cash flow at the present time is limiting the potential for that type of investment. Benchmarking is currently required by the banks for any form of investment in stock on dairy farms in the North of Ireland. The technology built into the Lely robotic system enables excellent recording of all data from the herd.

This YouTube video demonstrates the Lely robotic system in more detail.