Friday, 15 December 2023 09:55

Robots help sustainability drive

Written by  Staff Reporters
Ian and Carmen Comins, Kihikihi Ian and Carmen Comins, Kihikihi

Ian & Carmen Comins, Kihikihi, set up their farming operation in 2018, starting with 80 cows and working on increasing to 110, saw many attractive benefits to putting in robots, starting with just one robot they put another in 2020.

Now looking to the future with their business and a focus on sustainability as they set their goal to reduce the amount of antibiotics used with a goal of decreasing overall bulk SCC.

They researched a company called AHV (Animal Health Vision) – which is an innovative animal health company. Working in partnership with AHV they are seeing huge benefits by reducing their penicillin use.

They liked the idea of strengthening an animal’s immune system rather than treating with penicillin right away.

They are developing a more natural approach to their herd’s health and focussing on why a cow is run down and therefore getting mastitis.

They believe it is better for the health of the cow, and the milk they supply, to have this approach.

During the last few years, the Comins have learnt to manually separate the cows with higher SCC, and with the right course of action, have seen positive changes within a couple of days. This has led them to better understand what can cause their SCC to change.

They can do this with help from the Lely management platform system to identify those cows that show the first indication of infection and have been monitoring the progress of the cows treated with the AHV products.

Comins have used the use of technology to help provide valuable information such as:

  • Report # 10 - Health report

This report combines available sensors on the farm to identify the cows that need attention on first response. These health attentions give the Comins insight into the animal number, group, lactation, days production, sick chance, and sensor reason like – milk temp / SCC indication / activity, value and severity.

  • Another example is Report # 23 Milking Udder Health Analyse

The Udder health report provides information of attention cows with suspected udder health problems. This list combines milk sensor information, (milk yield, conductivity, colour and optional cell count). These are just two of the reports that assist the Comins in identifying the animals that need their care and attention.

More like this

Cow and farmer friendly

Cows benefit from robotic milking. They are more relaxed, healthier, and reward farmers with more milk.

Robot that harvests grass set for debut

Robotic milking specialist Lely has announced that Exos, a fully autonomous vehicle for harvesting and feeding fresh grass, will be commercially available to Dutch dairy farms from the middle of 2024.

Composting shelters working well

A new study has found that dairy farmer investment in composting shelters is being driven largely by a desire to tackle environmental challenges, improve animal welfare, provide labour efficiencies and better working conditions for staff.

Conventional milking goes digital

In line with its motto “Next Generation Farming”, GEA recently announced innovations in the field of conventional milking at EuroTier.

Featured

Frontline biosecurity 'untouchable'

Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard has reiterated that 'frontline' biosecurity services within Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will not be cut under the Government's plan to reduce the public service.

Migrant farmer 'lets the side down'

An appalling case of migrant worker exploitation on a Southland farm isn't acceptable, says Federated Farmers dairy chair Richard McIntyre.

Milk price certainty

Westland Milk has reaffirmed its commitment to pay farmer suppliers 10c above Fonterra farm gate milk price for the following two seasons.

National

Share farmers with big plans

With only about eight weeks to go before their cows are dried off, the 2024 Manawatu Dairy Industry Awards Share…

Team effort brings results

For the team at Westmorland Estate Limited in Waikato, it has been another year of everyone working together to achieve…

Machinery & Products

New name, new ideas

KGM New Zealand, is part of the London headquartered Inchcape Group, who increased its NZ presence in August 2023 with…

All-terrain fert spreading mode

Effluent specialists the Samson Group have developed a new double unloading system to help optimise uphill and downhill organic fertiliser…

Can-Am showcases range

Based on industry data collected by the Motor Industry Association, Can-Am is the number one side-by-side manufacturer in New Zealand.

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

'Not our fault!'

OPINION: Milking It wasn’t too surprised to hear Kiwis’ trust in media has sunk to a new low.

Avian flu in cows

A lethal form of avian influenza has been confirmed in US dairy cattle in Texas and Kansas, the US Department…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter