64 milk robots for Chilean dairy farm
Fundo El Risquillo, a large dairy farm in Chile with 6,500 dairy cows, has signed an agreement to increase the number of DeLaval VMS milk robots to 64, making it the world’s largest robotic milking farm.
Owned by Agricola Ancali and part of the Bethia Group, the dairy farm already works with 16 VMS milk robots. Installed in October 2014, the first eight were used to milk 500 cows. After comparing the benefits with the farm’s existing four rotary parlours, they realised it was not only possible to improve milk production by 10%, but also reduce labour costs and cow stress. They decided to explore further and added another eight robots; with average yields of 45.2 litres for the 920 cows going through the robotic milking system today.
CEO Pedro Heller at Ancali Agricola says it is all about doing more with less. “The benefits have been remarkable,” he says. “More production, better animal welfare conditions and less stress for the cows.”
During the second stage they decided to modify the farm, changing the conventional milking system for an automatic milking one. Around 4,500 cows will be milked by the 64 milk robots, the last of which should be up and running sometime early next year. One rotary will remain for fresh and special needs cows.
El Fundo Risquillo is located 500km south of Santiago and is part of a larger operation including a beef farming operation and a stud farm.
Thursday, 28 July 2016
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