Milking Edge: New Australian robotic milking project


The Australian dairy industry is committed to supporting investment and successful operation of Automatic Milking Systems (AMS). The three-year project ‘Milking Edge’ is a joint initiative of the NSW Department of Primary IndustriesDairy Australia and DeLaval to ‘Support industry to consider, invest and operate AMS successfully’.

Built on a decade of successful research and development led by FutureDairy, as well as the experience of almost 50 commercial farms around Australia who have decided to invest in the technology, the project will enable better decision-making around the consideration, purchase and implementation of AMS.

The project will develop training and extension programs for robotic milking that will:

  • Support industry to consider, invest (decision making) and operate (implement and transition to) robotic milking successfully; and
  • Minimise risk and maximise likelihood of successful transition to robotic milking

The Project Leader, Dr Nicolas Lyons, Development Officer Dairy with NSW DPI, commented that “it is great to see NSW DPI leading the delivery of a national collaborative industry-funded project aiming to accelerate the uptake of technology as an enabler to build a productive and sustainable dairy industry into the future”.

Dr Lyons will be working together with Mrs Jessica Bell, Project Officer Dairy – Robotic Milking at NSW DPI and Mr Juan Gargiulo, a postgraduate student based at University of Sydney who is supported by NSW DPI and the Dairy Research Foundation.

Peter Johnson from Dairy Australia believes that “The new project is an exciting step forward and builds on farmer requests for more information and support when implementing new technologies. The project draws on an extensive base of research knowledge and will make this information more easily accessible to support decisions on the purchase and use of AMS”.

Ken Ward from DeLaval mentioned that “DeLaval is proud to continue its relationship with both Dairy Australia and the NSW Department of Primary Industries after many years of being actively involved in the FutureDairy Project. As a company, we are very much focused on the adoption of new technologies that provide real tangible benefits to the dairy farmers of Australia. A big part of reaping these benefits is establishing a knowledge base to work from and the sharing of experiences to date. We clearly see that this project will assist dairy farmers in making the right decisions to meet their own goals”.

The project team in collaboration with key stakeholders will generate:

  • Tools and resources detailing the challenges and opportunities of robotic milking and supporting farmers assess the suitability of robotic milking;
  • Facilitate wider industry knowledge on AMS through formal training for farmers (owners and staff) and service providers wanting to expand their capacity and understanding through topic-based training;
  • Stronger industry engagement through activities such as conferences, field days and discussion groups;
  • A dedicated communication presence including social media, web, newsletter and media articles;
  • A modern online community of practice to collaborate and communicate on all things robotic.

Interested in learning more about robotic milking including how can we help you? Get in touch!

Know anyone interested in robotic milking? Please refer them to us!

For more information about the project, please visit the NSW DPI Dairy website, read the article published in the Australian Dairyfarmer magazine or contact Dr Nicolas Lyons (nicolas.lyons@dpi.nsw.gov.au / 0401 650 073)

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