FutureDairy is an R&D development program to help Australian dairy farmers manage the challenges they are likely to face during the next 20 years.
As one of the big challenges is the availability of labour and the associated lifestyle issues, FutureDairy’s focus is on automatic milking systems, or ‘robotic milking’. While robotic milking technology is now in wide use overseas, there’s less experience with automatic milking in grazing-based farming systems such as in Australia.
FutureDairy’s research is investigating the real impact of automatic milking on labour, reproductive performance and voluntary cow traffic.
In addition, we are supporting farmers and their advisors to adapt their farming systems to automatic milking. As well as training advisors, we are developing tools and resources for farmers and providing direct support through group activities, on-line communication and individual advice when needed.
While the project team is based at the University of Sydney’s Camden campus, much of our research is conducted at Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute and we work closely with our four investors; NSW Department of Primary Industries, Dairy Australia, DeLaval and the University of Sydney.