Nestled in the hills on the edge of the Canterbury Plains is a small and surprisingly high tech buffalo farm.
Ideal for farmers facing labour uncertainties or shortages, the system also addresses animal welfare and food safety needs, the company says.
It has been widely tested in Europe and is readily adaptable to New Zealand grass-based production.
The VMS 300 achieves 50% faster attachment at a 99.8% attachment rate, 10% higher capacity and it can harvest up to 3500kg/day/robot; it has a 99% teat spray hit rate.
Running costs are reckoned lower than for previous models and less farmer intervention is needed in the dairy.
DeLaval’s new user interface InControl allows data access and control of the system remotely; it delivers data on individual cows -- activity, yield and cell count -- and allows control of cameras or automated sort gates.
Also new is the DeLaval PureFlow, a transparent teat preparation cup designed to stimulate better milk flow, and DeLaval InSight that uses recent vision technology for fast and accurate attachment.
Justin Thompson, DeLaval’s Oceania sales manager, says the VMS 300 achieves performance increases not seen before by the company.
“The level of data that can be gathered from each teat, due to the individual quarter milking and automation, ensures complete milking every time, and again sees DeLaval raise the bar for robotic milking systems.”
The unit uses the DeLaval InService system to support service, consumables supply and maintenance at a fixed price; it ensures that the plant’s milking performance is at its best for each milking.
NZ’s first installation is being negotiated and a nationwide trailer tour is underway.