8-robot farm with 600 cows


Jason hopes to achieve 11,000L/cow this year

8-robot farm with 600 cows

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  • 1 mth ago

Jason hopes to achieve 11,000L/cow this year

DeLaval will host a VMS V300 open day next Wednesday (September 11th) from 11am-4pm on the farm of Jason Mitchell, Newtownstewart, County Tyrone, BT78 4LU.

The fourth-generation dairy farmer milks over 600 cows just outside Ardstraw; he operates an all-year-round calving and housed system.

The farm is home to eight DeLaval milking robots (6 VMS Classics & 2 VMS V300) and a 50-unit rotary parlour.

Jason’s herd has always been high-yielding and before installing robots, averaged around 8,800-9,000L/cow.

Since installing the 6 VMS classics, this has increased to 10,000L/cow; he is hoping to increase that again this year to 11,000L/cow with the introduction of the 2 new VMS V300 robots. "We can see 3000kg on a continuous basis per robot is well achievable with the new VMS V300."

Making the switch

For Jason, the main factors that influenced his switch to robotic milking were herd health and labour efficiency.

Previously, they milked three-times-a-day using a rotary and Jason explained how his staff had a desire to improve their working lifestyle.

“The robots help give my staff a better lifestyle and let them do more of what they like doing instead of standing in a parlour milking cows 3-times-a-day,” he added.

Jason decided to install 6 VMS classics in March 2018. With a brand new shed constructed specifically for robotic milking, he quickly saw the benefits from increased production and a more sustainable lactation for his cows.

When the VMS V300 was launched in July 2018, he decided to retrofit 2 VMS V300’s into an existing shed on the farm.

“We got a pleasant surprise when we went to see the new V300 operating and there seemed to be an improvement to what they had.”

Changes he has observed in the VMS V300 technology compared to the VMS Classic include increased capacity of the machine, the speed of attachment and increased milk flow.

“Now, we are operating the VMS V300 for a couple of months we can see the output is more than the classic, the attachment time is faster and milk flow is higher.”

“The new camera is unreal – it’s satisfying when you can see how technology is moving on,” he added.

Return on investment

Jason focuses heavily on return on investment which is achieved or measured by litres harvested per VMS. With the VMS V300’s increased capacity to harvest more milk per station, it was the right decision for Jason.

“We are now seeing cow for cow, litre for litre; we are probably going 10-15% more capacity on the VMS V300.”

The Tyrone native praised the farm management system DeLaval DelPro for assisting him and his team make better herd management decisions on a daily basis with the accurate information it provides.

“The DelPro system, we understand it and use it on a daily basis. We find it very useful and you know the information we are getting is second to none.”

“It’s one of those things that the more you use it the more you get addicted to it and the more information you gain from it”

“We are in a position now to see information we never even realised was there 12 months ago.”

“All these things help us make better decisions and that in fact has made us better farmers,” he concluded.

Information

For more information and to confirm your attendance please contact Albert J Jones: +44 28 68631251

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