EuroTier 2016: Large dairy farmers opt for DeLaval robotic milking

DeLaval is also seeing an increased interest from large farmers in farm management and aftermarket solutions to future proof their business.

Hanover, Germany November 15, 2016. In recent months, DeLaval has acquired a number of new large dairy farming customers in the robotic milking segment. Improved animal welfare and farm profitability are some of the key drivers as well as the fully integrated approach DeLaval offers.

“We are increasingly noticing a shift towards more robotic milking, particularly within larger farms. Moreover, our customers value the entire spectrum of our solutions – from teat dips to fully automatic robots and farm management solutions,” says Joakim Rosengren, President and CEO, DeLaval. “This matches an overall trend in our industry for more transparency and traceability when it comes to milk production as well as increased animal welfare. Since we’re offering solutions for all farm sizes at DeLaval, we know the real added value is in the integration of our solutions.”

Some recent cases from across the globe:

USA, Michigan

Name of farm: TDI Farms

Size of herd: 1500 cows.

DeLaval solutions: TDI Farms LLC has signed an agreement to purchase 24 DeLaval Voluntary Milking System (VMS™) robots citing advantages in animal welfare, employee development and the farm’s longevity as main catalysts for the project. In addition to the 24 milking robots, TDI Farms has also agreed to purchase DeLaval activity monitoring tags for the entire herd, 24 swinging cow brushes (SCB), and teat dips and detergents developed by DeLaval specifically for VMS farms. The new facility will also use DelPro™ farm management software to record, for example quarter milk yields, robot visits and heats, helping TDI Farms make accurate and timely decisions to maintain the health of their herd.

Key reasons: TDI Farms had three main reasons for making the move to robotic farming; animal welfare, increased milk production and reduction in labour costs. The improved production environment makes life easier for the cow and allows them to express their genetic potential and produce more. The new owners also wanted to secure high quality milk for the future and balance the challenge of finding skilled labour. Lower labour costs will also contribute to long-term profitability, as will the increased milk production.

We decided to transition to robotic milking first and foremost for the benefit of the cows since we’ve seen improved longevity and lower cull rates when evaluating other robotic milking herds. We also have a great core of employees and prefer to develop their talents as opposed to adding more labor,” Bryant Trierweiler explained.

Chile, Temuco (close to Los Angeles)

Name of farm: Fundo El Risquillo, owned by Ancali

Size of herd: 6500 cows

DeLaval solutions: 64 DeLaval VMSTM , instant cooling, cooling tanks, ventilation system, cow cooling system, rubber flooring, swinging cow brushes, foot baths, water troughs, illumination, scrapers (all barn solutions are controlled with DeLaval Barn System Controller). Ancali also has 4 DeLaval Herringbone Rotary Platforms full automation (3 will be replaced by 48 VMS), sorting gates and HRS crowd gates. All farm use DeLaval detergents and teat dips (Della Barrier & Della Care).

Key reasons: Farm profitability (increased milk production for  better cow comfort, milking frequency, cow longevity and decrease in labour costs).

 “We started using robots for 500 cows, and when we saw the economic benefits and we realised that it was possible to improve production per cow by 10% and reduce the stress on the cow we decided to further explore”, says Pedro Heller, CEO at Ancali Agricola.

Japan, Kakuyama

Name of farm: Kalm farm, owned by Mr Kawaguchiya

Size of herd: 600 cows

DeLaval solutions:  8 DeLaval VMS™, 2 DeLaval Herd Navigator™, 4 DeLaval body condition scoring system, 1 cooling tank, 1 buffer tank, 2 chain scrapers, 12 swinging cow brushes, 4 automatic foot baths, manure tanker, 32 water troughs, alley mats, cow mattresses and cubicle dividers.

Key reasons: Animal welfare, farm profitability and food safety

In Japan there is a shortage of labour, so robotic milking is a perfect solution as it cuts the amount of farm labour.

"Without robots, I would have to hire as many as 15 part-time workers to take care of our cows," says Mr. Kawaguchiya, "I can save 15 million yen ($146,000) a year thanks to them.”

Germany, Kaltensundheim

Name of farm: Röhnlandhöfe

Size of herd: 900 cows

DeLaval solutions: 12 DeLaval VMS™, DeLaval FeedFirst™ cow traffic, DeLaval DelPro™ Farm Manager herd management system, cooling, activity measurement, cow separation gates, hoof cleaning systems, swinging cow brushes, manure equipment, teat dips and detergents.

Key reasons: Farm profitability – due to the lack of labour in the market as well as the robustness of DeLaval solutions.

“Based on the growing lack of employees, we decided to choose an automatic milking system for our new barn. Using 12 DeLaval VMSTM for a herd size with 900 cows together with the FeedFirstTM cow traffic system. We are reaching the highest possible added value for our farm location with difficult environmental circumstances,” Dr. Bach, farm manager and CEO, Röhnlandhöfe.

Germany, Waldkirchen

Name of farm: Bauernland AG

Size of herd: 600 cows

DeLaval solutions: DeLaval AMR™, DeLaval DelPro™ Farm Management System, cooling, activity measurement, smart gates, crowd gates, 1 automatic foot bath, liners & tubes, teat dips & detergents, and service contract.

Key reasons: Work efficiency, farm profitability and food safety

 “The efficiency of this facility had led to a 50% decrease in working hours compared to before. Previously we had six employees who milked 380 cows a day. Now only two employees milk 500 cows twice a day”, says Mr Espig, CEO of Bauernland AG.

Please visit us at EuroTier, at the DeLaval booth E33, Hall 13. 

About DeLaval
DeLaval is a worldwide leader in milking equipment and solutions for dairy farmers, which make sustainable food production possible, warranting milk quality and animal health. Our solutions are used by millions of dairy farmers around the globe every day.

DeLaval was founded more than 130 years ago in Sweden, when the visionary Gustaf de Laval patented the cream separator. Today, DeLaval has 4,500 employees and operates in more than 100 markets. DeLaval, alongside Tetra Pak and Sidel, is part of the Tetra Laval Group. See more at www.delavalcorporate.com.