The effect of pasture quantity temporal variation on milking robot utilization
AJ John, BR Cullen, K Oluboyede, MJ Freeman, KL Kerrisk, SC Garcia, CEF Clark
JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE | ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC | Published : 2019
In pasture-based automatic milking systems (AMS), a decrease in robot utilization (RU) often occurs in the early morning hours. Novel feeding strategies that encourage voluntary cow traffic throughout 24 h could help mitigate this problem. We determined the effect of 3 distinct pasture allocation methods on RU patterns throughout a 24-h period. The experiment was conducted at the University of Melbourne's Dookie research farm in northern Victoria, Australia. Three Lely Astronaut A3 robotic milking units (Lely, Maassluis, the Netherlands) milked 133 cows, grazing pasture, with concentrate offered at milking in the robots. The farm operated a system of 3-way grazing, with active access to each..View full abstract
We acknowledge the support of The University of Melbourne farm manager, Ashley Gabler, and farm staff at the Dookie dairy in conducting the experiment, the Dairy Research Foundation for its support of the Dairy Science Group, and the investors of the FutureDairy project (Dairy Australia, NSW Department of Primary Industries, The University of Sydney, and DeLaval). The authors acknowledge Evelyn Hall (The University of Sydney, Camden, Australia) for her statistical input.