“The Stan Ravenhill Robotic Dairy”, a state-of-the-art robotic dairy located at the College, commenced operations in June 2016 and was officially opened by the Hon. Terry Redman, MLA, Minister for Regional Development and Lands on Saturday, 3 September 2016.
The WA College of Agriculture – Denmark is the only college in Australia to install a robotic dairy of its kind – a first in Australia. DeLaval assisted in the development and design of the facility including herd management principles.
The College’s Automatic Milking System (robotic dairy) has two robot milkers that can handle 70 cows each, giving the College a 140 cow milking daily, an increase in 50 herd animals. The cows have free access to the Automatic Milking System (AMS) at any time of day and come up to milk themselves. Each cow is individually identified by the AMS via an ear tag, which can pick up if a cow has already been milked too recently and will lead that cow out via electronic gates; if not, the cow is allowed access and the robot cleans the udder and uses laser points to pick up where to attach each of the pumps.
Milking cows is not the only function of the robotic dairy, the College will be able to personalise feeding programmes for individual herd animals and be alerted if an animal has a problem. Important data is collected on each animal allowing customised programmes to be initiated to help overcome illness or over-milking.
According to DeLaval, approximately 30,000 farmers across the globe milk more than 1.2 million cows in automatic milking systems. “The WA College of Agriculture-Denmark is proud to have joined this global revolution.” said College Principal Mr. Kevin Osborne, “Introduction of the robotic dairy will revolutionise the way in which we manage our dairy herd and teach dairy management to our students. Teaching our students with such advanced technology will help us to shape the future of dairy farming in Western Australia.”
Further Contact: Terry deVos, Assistant Farm Manager – Dairy, (08) 9848 0200