|Automating milking is considered one of the last bastions of modern dairy farming – and to automate this task would indeed change the New Zealand dairy industry.||
In 2001, the DairyNZ Greenfield Project was established with the audacious goal of turning milking into a background activity on dairy farms. The approach was to develop alternative farm layouts that incorporated internationally developed automatic milking technology and take advantage of the considerable behavioural abilities of cows.
The objective was to develop a farming system that reduced the requirement for physical labour and increased the farms productive potential. Within the wider automatic farm development, opportunities for productivity gains through automation of other tasks including monitoring milk quality and animal health, fencing, reproduction and herd testing have also been researched.
This project has proven that automated milking can be successful within a New Zealand pastoral system but that significant restraints remain in capital and operating costs.
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