Read about dairy shed technologies and how these can improve efficiency and profitability on your dairy farm.
The milking process is time consuming and labour intensive. Technologies that automate the process of milking will have obvious benefits.
The use of precision dairy technologies has been increasing for the past decade.
There has been an increase in the use of automated cup removers and teat spraying, and automated drafting. More recently, many milking technology companies offer an automated mastitis detection system. Technologies that refine the milking process include automatic or robotic milking systems.
About 30% of Australian dairy farms have installed automatic cup removers. Automatic cup removers may be retrofitted to both new and pre-existing equipment and offer a significant reduction in labour requirement during milking.
Adoption of new technologies: Automatic cup removers (PDF, 696KB)
Prepared by Matthew Reynolds, Project Officer at the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary industries, this fact sheet describes how automatic cup removers work and the implications of installing and using this technology. In addition, Matthew has examined the benefit:cost of this technology.
Results from a survey of Australian dairy farms conducted in 2015 by Dr Nico Lyons (Development Officer Robotic Milking Systems, NSW Department of Primary Industries) indicated that approximately 13% had automated mastitis detection systems installed.
Automated mastitis detection systems use in-line sensors to monitor milk from individual cows during milking for indicators of mastitis. While they provide a technology-based approach to identify mastitis 'suspect cows', farmers still need to inspect the alerted cows to confirm clinical mastitis.
Please refer to this link, prepared by staff of DairyNZ, and provided by Dr Callum Eastwood, DairyNZ Advanced Management Technologies Team. This fact sheet includes information on the cost of mastitis, the benefits of mastitis detection technology and how it works, as well as a list of the suppliers of the technology.
Additional information on the use of electrical conductivity to detect mastitis in milk is available from the FutureDairy team at Sydney University.
Use of electrical conductivity in milk (PDF, 138KB)
DairyNZ automated mastitis detection (external site)
Automatic milking systems have been developed for dairy farms to reduce the human labour required for milk harvesting. In Australia, the challenge is to incorporate automatic milking into pasture-based production systems while maintaining production targets.
Precision dairy technology: Automatic milking systems (PDF, 1.7MB)
This fact sheet describes how the robotic or automatic milking systems work and how dairy farmers implement this type of technology. Contact details of the major suppliers, together with approximate cost and other relevant information is included.
Automatic milking systems FAQ (PDF, 2.4MB)
Frequently asked questions about automatic milking systems answered by Nicolas Lyons, Development Officer Automatic Milking Systems, NSW Department of Primary Industries.
Future Dairy website: Automatic milking systems publications (external link)
Further information sheets on AMS have been prepared by the FutureDairy team at the University of Sydney, and are available at the above link.
Future Dairy website: Case studies (external link)
The FutureDairy team have also conducted a number of case studies demonstrating the use of AMS.
DairyNZ: Robotic milking (external link)
A wide range of information about AMS and considerations in New Zealand.
Video link of AMS pasture management http://futuredairy.com.au/nsw-dpi-releases-ams-video/ (external link)
Nico Lyons from NSW Department of Primary Industries presents a video of pasture management in a AMS pasture based system in Tasmania.