“Having the freedom to leave the farm and not be tied to an evening milking, for example, is a huge bonus.”
Those were the words spoken by Shane Seery, a second-year veterinary medicine student, as he explained the benefits of embracing robotic milking technology.
The 21-year-old and his family installed two Lely Astronaut A5 milking robots on Gortmore Farm on January 2nd, 2020 with a view to addressing labour requirements.
“My brother and I are still in school/college, so reducing labour requirements was essential until we could be around more and ease the pressure load off our father.” Seery told That’s Farming.
“Automation has become a buzz word across the whole agricultural sector. I’m not a sales rep for Lely, but there are countless benefits.”
These, he added, include reduced labour requirements and an in-depth profile on each cow including and lactation production (protein, butterfat, lactose SCC, temperature).
“Others include cow daily rumination and activity, the identification of cows that are sick or in-heat and simple and safe drafting of cows for AI.”
“There is an increased milking frequency with currently 2.5 milkings/cow/day on our farm.”
Seery said that the dairy industry faces “more challenges now than ever” with the uncertainty presented by the Covid-19 pandemic and its “unpredictable outcome”.
“Supporting Irish farmers and their produce is essential in these times now more than ever to sustain Irish jobs and protect our agricultural sector.” he concluded.