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Dairy adventures in New Zealand: Touring a pasture-based robotic dairy farm

Hannah Wentworth Published on 06 April 2012
Robotic dairy farm

Editor's note: Penn State dairy student Hannah Wentworth will be providing monthly updates through the Progressive Dairyman Extra e-newsletter about her study abroad experience in New Zealand this spring.

Check back next month for a new column, or visit her blog at www.pafarmgirladventures.blogspot.com.

Robots enabled cows to come and go, being milked at whatever times they pleased at Stradbrook Robotic Dairy Farm in Mayfield, New Zealand.

On Sunday March 25, I had the opportunity to travel with the Lincoln Young Farmers to tour a pasture based robotic dairy farm. The NZ Young Farmers is a National Organization for agriculturalist promoting networking and personal growth.

This farm is one of four dairies on the south island to have an Automated Milking System (AMS) with four Lely robots. I had seen a robotic dairy in the U.S. before but I was excited to visit a New Zealand operation.

Jeff, the farm manager shared with us more about the farm. There are 75 hectares (185 acres) of pasture land for the 250 Holstein-Friesians dairy cows and Jersey crosses. The cows are currently producing 25 liters (6.6 gal) a day at 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of milk solids. Most New Zealand farms calve seasonally, this farm calves three times a year.

Click here to visit Wentworth's blog to see more photos and videos from this tour. PD

Related articles:
Dairy adventures in New Zealand: Settling in
Questions about robots? Michigan State University facilitates farmer-to-farmer dialogue for answers
Robots on a grazing dairy give Michigan couple ‘freedom’

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