Dairy Shed Technologies
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 over the past two decades.
Automatic cup removers
There has been an increase in the use of automated cup removers, 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 per cent to 40 per cent of Australian dairy farms have installed automatic cup removers. Automatic cup removers may be fitted to both new and pre-existing equipment and offer a significant reduction in labour requirement during milking.
Prepared by Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries Project Officer Matthew Reynolds, 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 ratio of this technology.
Automated mastitis detection
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 examine the alerted cows to confirm clinical mastitis. It is important for farmers to explore and understand the performance limitations of any automated mastitis detection system installed.