In March 2017, DeLaval hosted the first international conference focusing solely on grass based milk production with automatic milking systems. The conference was held in Tasmania and brought together some of the most successful grassland AMS farmers, experts and scientists from countries like Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Ireland to share experience and learn from one another. Andrew Walsh from Wexford represented Ireland and shared his learnings of DeLaval VMSTM and grazing.
In Ireland, robotic milking on grassland is gaining popularity. This is greatly due to DeLaval’s development of an automated milking system together with our ABC grazing system that meet the specific needs of Ireland’s grass-based milk production.
The unique ability to control cow traffic at grassland puts DeLaval in a market leading position. Pastures are divided into three different areas (A, B, C), which are available to the cows at different periods throughout the day. There is also a separation area where cows can be automatically sent to. DeLaval VMS milking robots are ideally in the middle of it all and cows with milking permission can walk to the robots at any time. With the specially designed milking robot – based on extensive research from existing grassland markets of South America, Australia and New Zealand – farmers can now have the best of both worlds.
One of the highlights of the convention was a visit to three robotic grassland farms. One of them was Gala Farm, where the Dornauf Family operate a 24 bail automatic milking rotary (DeLaval AMRTM), milking 600 cows on a voluntary basis. It is the home of the first commercial automatic milking rotary in the world. The other two farms had chosen DeLaval VMS voluntary milking systems with the ‘box’ style of milking.
You can follow Andrew Walsh, a DeLaval VMS user and the author of “My Grazing Week” (http://www.thatsfarming.com/news/my-graxzing-23) on Thatsfarming.com where he has been posting regular updates of his experience on the conference and the farms that were visited.