Pella, Iowa — Automatic milking systems are increasingly popular throughout the world. A recent fouryear study executed and led by researchers at the University of Wisconsin highlighted several factors that lead to increased milk production from automatic milking systems.
A main element to consider when designing a robotic milking barn is whether to use free or guided cow traffic.
The research, completed by Marlene Tremblay, Justin Hess, Brock Christenson, Kolby McIntyre, Ben Smink, Arjen van der Kamp, Lisanne de Jong and Dorte Dopfer, and published in the Journal of Dairy Science 2016, says cows in free cow traffic robot systems give about 1 kg or 2.2 lbs. of milk per cow per day more than guided or forced cow traffic.
The study covered 635 Lely robot farms in North America and analyzed more than 71,000 weekly observations to find optimal situations for robot herds by current owners. The data, combined with farm specifics such as breed, geographic location and pen size and other factors, contributed to increased milk production.
“Lely discovered long ago that farmers who use free cow traffic are more successful with robotic milking,” said Ben Smink, Lely North America Manager, Farm Management Support. “With free cow traffic, the cow decides when she eats, gets milked or lies down, thereby improving the well-being of the cow. By taking care of cows and putting extra effort into cow comfort, producers are able to extend lifetime milk production.”
The researchers found that the presence of a single robot per pen was associated with decreased milk production per robot per day when compared with pens using two or more robots per pen. The pens using two robots averaged 60 kg or 132.3 lbs., of milk per robot per day more than pens with one robot.
To read the see more information on the Journal of Dairy Science article, go to http://www.journalofdairyscience.org/article/S0022-0302(16)00156-9/abstract
We invite you to learn more about Lely dairy industry innovations on Lely’s website, www.lelyna.com. Also, follow us on Lely’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/LelyNorthAmerica) or Twitter (@DairyRobot). To watch videos featuring Lely’s products, visit http://www.youtube.com/lelydairylife.
About Lely North America
Lely NA, based in Pella, Iowa, is part of the Lely Group, founded in 1948. Lely directs all efforts toward creating a sustainable, profitable and enjoyable future in farming for its customers. Lely is the only company worldwide to supply the agricultural sector with a complete portfolio of products and services ranging from forage harvesting to automated feeding systems, barn cleaners and milking robots. Lely is also working on business concepts to ensure energy-neutral operations in the dairy sector. For many years, Lely has remained the undisputed market leader in the sales and service of automated milking systems. The company has a strong position in forage harvesting products, and with more than 65 years of acquired knowledge of the agricultural cycle Lely has an unrivalled position. The Lely Group is active in more than 60 countries and employs some 2,000 people.
For more information, please contact:
Bellana L. Putz
Ann Marie Edwards