Kingshay Farming AgriEPI Research Centre in Glastonbury UK is home to a new 21st-century high-tech grass-based robotic dairy farm.
The South West Dairy Development Centre combines innovative building design and management systems to create a highly efficient, low-cost dairy system, with the capital cost of developing the dairy from scratch amounting to less than £8,000 per cow (approximately €8,900), according to a spokesperson.
- Fabric-roofed building is the first of its kind in the UK and measures 90 metres by 28;
- Building designed to optimise cow comfort and ease of movement from lying area to milking to feeding;
- Rotary cow brushes;
- Rubber flooring;
- Three GEA DairyRobot R9500 do the milking. Clusters are attached and complete a cycle of cleansing, milk let-down stimulation, fore milking and milk harvesting followed by post-dipping, all while the cluster is attached.
- The building is 5 metres to the eaves and opens sided. Airflow is controlled by curtain walling; sensors measuring wind speed, rainfall and internal humidity within the building control the positioning of the curtain;
- Mullerup automated feed kitchen - silage is loaded into the moving floor feed tables which then dispense pre-programmed quantities of each, along with concentrate feeds, into the rail-mounted feed dispenser which delivers the ration to the selected sections of the building up to 15 or more times a day;
- Feed storage bins are mounted on weigh cells to enable accurate feed use;
- Measured paddock for 6 hours - 4 fresh grazings every day.
180 Irish-bred autumn-calving cows were supplied by David Clarke Livestock, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath last year; the firm visited the enterprise in recent weeks and captured this video.
In a post on Facebook, David Clarke Livestock said: "Production was 8250kgs of milk at 4.6% fat and 3.6% protein with a conception rate was 55% to first insemination."
Image source: David Clarke \ Youtube