Fourth generation farmer Robert and wife Ally Arnold are innovative dairy farmers from Lilydale Tasmania. After originally milking in a 16 aside herringbone for 20 years, the two bought their neighbours farm which had another herringbone.

They planned to milk across both dairies however, Robert remarked that they would had to of spent "a fair bit of money" to start the old herringbone back up again. To manage costs and improve their work-life balance, Robert and Ally decided to retrofit 3 Lely Astronaut A5 milking robots into the existing infastructure of their neighbour's farm.

The Retrofit Process
Robotic retrofits leverage existing infrastructure to effectively lower expenses while maintaining current lane and paddock configurations.

After facing staff issues and realising their herd had outgrown their herringbone system, Robert & Ally Arnold decided to retrofit three robots into their existing setup.

Transitioning cows from a herringbone to robots
Robert and Ally shared insights with us about the seamless transition their cows experienced when transitioning from conventional to robotic milking systems. After three days of running cows through the robots they got used to them, two weeks onwards they were moving from the paddocks by themselves and after four weeks, "everything got easier".

Ally explains that "They were walking through the night by four weeks, which is the goal. That's when you know you've hit the jackpot, when you know they're walking while you're in bed." She further told us how proud she was of her watching them adapt, and that to this day it is still exciting watching them use the system.


Images and videos of this project