Planning for Scalable, Sustainable Growth with Robotic MilkingHigher milk production and lower labour costs are among the more talked-about outcomes of robotic milking, but another important benefit is the scalability the robots enable.
Design Your Barn to be Greater Than the Sum of its PartsCentral to all robotic dairy designs are the milking robots themselves; but how do they “fit” with other technologies inside the barn?
Retrofit or Build New: 5 Factors to Help You DecideOne of the first questions we’re asked by dairy farmers interested in DeLaval VMS™ milking systems is: Can I retrofit my existing barn(s) or do I need to build new?
Designing Your Barn for the New VMS™ V300The new DeLaval Voluntary Milking System, called Voluntary Milking System VMS™ V300, will be arriving at North American dairy farms very soon. With the enhancements and redesign for the milking system, we must consider some changes to facility and design planning. Here’s what you can expect with the new VMS robot’s anatomical changes and how they will – or won’t – impact the layout of your barn.
Largest DeLaval free-flow robotic milking barn in North AmericaWhat will soon be the largest DeLaval free flow cow traffic robotic milking farm in North America is currently under construction in Western New York. It will consist of two expanded/retrofit freestall barns of 12 Voluntary milking system VMS™ robots, for a total of 24 VMS. Join us on a virtual walk-through of this setup to see how comfortable these 1600 cows will be in their new home.
A Closer Look at a Robotic Barn with Access to GrazingIn this month’s edition of The Navigator we are sharing a (6) VMS milk-first, bedded pack layout with grazing access. This design is quite simple in that everything is covered under one square roof yet offers automation that is easy to learn for the cows and manage for the producer.
A toll gate style retrofitFeatured this month is a toll gate style retrofit layout prepared for a dairy producer in Wisconsin, USA. We’ll take a closer look at two major challenges we needed to overcome: fitting four VMS robots and adding more feed bunk space to a four-row freestall layout with one feed bunk.
Rolleyview FarmsIn this edition we take a closer look at Rolleyview Farms, a VMS facility in Chilliwack, BC, Canada owned by the Tap family. I visited the Taps just prior to start-up to photograph the barn. It was immediately clear that cow comfort, cow flow and ease of work routines were the primary factors playing into every facet of the design.
Free Flow or Guided? You DecideOur featured barn is a prototype of one of DeLaval’s most popular North American robotic barn designs. Why you ask? Above all, cows in this barn have the potential to be highly productive and that all starts with cow comfort. Additionally, the farmer can potentially thrive with relatively low labor inputs. Also when the operation is ready to expand, this design has already taken into account future growth.
Large Herd Facility DesignHere at DeLaval, we are designing more large herd robotic facilities. We are rethinking everything in order to satisfy the criteria of cow comfort, cow flow, labor efficiency, flexibility of design, and future expansion. Regardless of farm size, these principles do not change. However, aspects such as herd management, milk transport, cow walking distances, manure management, and ventilation certainly do.