Seven of the world’s most productive DeLaval VMS dairies proved the sky is the limit. They were recognized at the VMS PRO user club conference for harvesting, on average, up to 6,613 lbs (3,000 kg) of milk per day per robot – a new industry benchmark.
Nearly 130 participants from 8 countries, across the globe, met at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, NV last week to discuss their experiences with precision dairy technologies like robotic milking, robotic feeding and state-of-the-art herd management tools.
The event’s theme – “Robotic Milking and Feeding from Calf to Cow” – brought the industry’s most respected researchers and scientists together with the best performing DeLaval Voluntary Milking System (VMS™) farmers on the planet.
The two-day VMS PRO event featured presentations with robotic dairying topics like barn design, cow comfort, feed access and consumption, calf feeding, key performance indicators and benchmarking, and much more.
Attendees had the opportunity to share their own experiences and learn from each other in workshop sessions. The first-ever VMS PRO Dairy Talks, a dedicated session with a panel of leaders in robotic milking, featured the 7 Top VMS producers, who were also honored for their outstanding performance.
Lars & Peter Hilding, Sweden, Hildings Lantbruk AB
Tim Damerow, USA, Damerow Brothers
Jake Peissig, USA, JTP Farms
Odrióm Escobar, Chile, Agricola ANCALI
Jon & Jen Wilken, Canada, Wilkesview Farms
Marcus Crowden, Australia, Ritchies Plains
Alvin & Judith Reid, New Zealand, Riverholme Pastures
“The tremendous success of these record-setting VMS producers is a testament to their ability to achieve the right balance of precise herd and milking management, efficient farm layout, on farm practices, including animal welfare as a priority, performance goals, and integrated business tools,” says Francisco Rodriguez, Marketing Manager for Automatic Milking and Feeding at DeLaval North America. Their operations range from one to eight VMS robots and from sophisticated freestall facilities to highly efficient robotic grazing dairies.
According to Rodriguez, the goal of this global robotics conference in Las Vegas was to take the content and participation to the next level with more global expertise and a comprehensive robotic agenda. “VMS producers around the world are proving to us that there is no limit to what robotic technology can do. DeLaval is excited to be leading the discussion about integrated dairy robotics and using the VMS PRO user club to help the industry improve.”
The VMS PRO user club, founded in North America in 2011, has evolved into a global community of more than 2,000 farmers, advisors, influentials and scientists. What started as local meetings has now expanded into a global robotics conference, the next of which is planned for 2018. DeLaval North America will continue to host regular local VMS PRO meetings and monthly webinars.