New automated batch milking system launched

1 June 2022 | Int. Livestockhousing Guide |

DeLaval has launched a new automated ‘batch milking’ system to enable dairy farmers with larger herd sizes to use milking systems more efficiently. “The new VMS Batch milking system will enable dairy farmers to merge the benefits automated milking provides with the advantages of a larger, or rotary, parlour,” explains DeLaval’s large herd specialist, Robert Jensen.

Demand for dairy workers has increased, yet finding suitable workers is proving challenging in many areas. “With the successful introduction of our DeLaval VMS™ V300 and V310 a few years ago and the high capacity of these milking systems, we saw an opportunity to organise the robots in a batch milking setup to offer a flexible automatic milking solution for larger farms. The batch milking concept has been introduced to enable larger farms to produce more milk with less labour. With the new system only one person is required to milk 450 cows,” he says.

Using eight VMS machines a farm can milk 450 cows twice a day by creating fixed milking sessions for batches of cows. The routine is similar to that of a traditional parlour with cows being admitted to a collection area in front of the robots. As each cow is milked, she exits through a sorting gate making the robot free for the next. “Cows are typically milked twice a day and there are very few changes to herd management and the existing milking system,” he adds.

The concept has already been implemented in parts of Europe. Italian farmer Renato Aceto is batch milking with eight robots. “We manage more than 1000 cows located on several farm sites and we have moved 450 to the new batch milking method. We were not ready to change our herd management strategy, so this option was appealing.  There have been almost no changes in our feeding and reproduction strategy and after six months we have decided to update the second farm site to batch milking as well. In Spring 2022, we will milk more than 1000 cows with VMS batch milking,” he explains.

The robots are fitted with DeLaval InSight™ which finds teats without any support or teaching, making it quick and easy to switch to milking a large number of cows consistently and efficiently. Existing robot users looking to grow can add new software to move to batch milking which will enable multiple stations to be controlled remotely. Large herd customers also benefit from the new DeLaval InService All-inclusive program which offers service and support 24/7.

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