NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) launches tool for automatic milking systems

A world-first decision-support tool for pasture-based automated milking systems has been launched.
A world-first decision-support tool for pasture-based automated milking systems has been launched.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has launched a world-first tool to help dairy farmers make decisions when using automatic milking systems (AMS).

The tool, known as the AMS Integrated Management Model (IMM), gives the growing number of farmers using or considering investing in AMS a better understanding of the system and its performance.

The project, Milking Edge, is led by DPI Leader Dairy, Nicolas Lyons in conjunction with the Dairy Australia and DeLaval, and aims to support industry considering, investing and operating AMS by minimising risk and maximising successful transition to robotic milking.

"It is a world-first decision support tool for pasture-based AMS that integrates commercial farm data obtained across multiple locations and years," Dr Lyons said.

"It's a flexible and user-friendly online interface to help farmers plan and optimise performance of the system."

Created by DPI Development Officer Juan Gargiulo, the AMS IMM is based on comprehensive historical data from commercial farms collected as part of the Milking Edge project.

It is a key distinctive feature of this innovative tool and unique as it uses five years of economic and physical data from several farms using AMS from Australia and overseas.

"It allows you to benchmark many key performance insights against all the data that is behind the tool," Mr Gargiulo said.

"It can also be used to identify ways to optimise performance by targeting higher litres of milk per robot, a key driver of farm profitability.

"The tool has been tested by farmers using AMS from Australia, Ireland and New Zealand with extremely positive and encouraging results, with most farmers valuing this tool and considering it to be useful and easy to use."

The tool is available now and can be accessed at https://bit.ly/MilkingEdgeAMSTool