DEMAND for reliable, easy-to-use automation technology is likely to increase as Australian dairy farmers look for production growth during the 2021-22 season.
Dairy Australia's June Situation and Outlook forecast a modest production lift for the year, following a challenging few seasons in drought.
Higher opening milk prices had pushed up confidence and would encourage farmers to revisit on-farm investments.
The outlook said while most regions would see lifts in production, the lack of available workers remained a concern across the country.
Waikato Milking Systems business development manager for Australia Rob Spencer said the situation would encourage farmers to look for ways to automate the milking process.
"Automatic cup removers would have to be the best option for a milking system to gain immediate efficiency and productivity improvements," he said.
"ACRs eliminate one labour unit from the milking process, which means you can direct that person to work elsewhere on the farm for other important tasks."
Waikato Milking Systems ACRs uses a precise, proprietary shut-off valve that accurately detects the end of milking to remove the cups.
"But the operator also has the option of using our robust and time-proven user switch, which can manually remove the cups with ease," Mr Spencer said.
"Our range of automatic cup removers, ECR-S and ECR Plus, can be programmed to detach at a predetermined time or fixed place in platform rotation to avoid over-milking the herd."
The adjustable retraction speed meant the ECRs detached gently from the udder, avoiding any damage to cows' teats at the end of milking time.
"Our Platform Positioning System ensures that any of our ECRs will operate without a hitch on any platform," Mr Spencer said.
Both ECR options can be mounted vertically in rotary and inline milking systems.
"The ECRs can also be mounted in Waikato Swing Arms for inline systems," he said. "The Swing Arms improve cluster alignment and reduce pull on the cups during milking."
Mr Spencer said the system's robust stainless steel chassis and cylinder lasted longer while the swing capability created a clear space for operators to move along the pit. The cylinder had a pulley to make cluster removal smooth and gentle.
"It's very easy to clean and maintain," he said. "All the milk and pulsation tubes are housed inside the main chassis."
The Swing Arm includes AutoSTART as a standard feature.
"All the operator has to do is lift the cluster and attach to the animal," he said. "The rest is completely automated."
Article supplied by Waikato Milking Systems, website waikatomilking.com.
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