Guidelines Documents

The Large Herd Guidelines focus on managing a large herd with automatic milking. There are six primary themes presented as Prezi files. The elements in each theme combine to create the ‘body of knowledge’ that will be the legacy of the third cycle of FutureDairy funding. These guidelines build upon (and do not duplicate) the original Management Guidelines for pasture-based AMS herds (2010).

Essential reading for anyone seriously contemplating the installation of an automated system. These guidelines are based on both scientific research and experience gained through working with commercial farmers. Automatic Milking won’t suit every Australian dairy farmer, but these guidelines will help those who choose the AMS path to make it a success.

A worksheet developed as a collaboration between FutureDairy and DairyNZ. This worksheet aims to take farmers through some of the key financials that might be impacted (either positively or negative) by the decision to invest in Automatic Milking. Farmers are encouraged to read the supporting information and estimate the likely impact for their own farming operation. This information can then be used to make sound decisions regarding the financial impact of an investment in Automatic Milking.

Supporting documentation: AMS ECONOMICS BRIEFING

The main purpose of this document is to:

  • Summarise a detailed economic evaluation comparing Automatic Milking Systems (AMS) with alternative conventional milking systems. (CMS).
  • Discuss the key factors that will drive the economic differences between the AMS and alternative systems.
    The document is a brief and “easy read” version of a detailed economic evaluation that was carried out by Andrew Alford (then at Industry and Investment, NSW) which drew on other research carried out up to February 2010.

AMS Info Sheets

This series of Information Sheets are the support documents for the Management Guidelines for Large Herds (accessible here). The sheets provide the detailed information that requires consideration particularly for large herd operations.

Click filename to open or Right click and choose ‘Save Target As’ to download.

1 – Managing Large Herds
Automatic milking options for large herds
Voluntary cow movement in an AMS
Cow movement in an AMS (batch vs voluntary)
2 – Infrastructure
Infrastructure for large herd AMS
AMS farm layout
3 – Managing Incentives
Managing Incentives on a large herd AMS
4 – Managing colostrum and hospital cows
Managing colostrum and hospital cows
5 – Maintenance and routines
Daily routines
6 – Raising replacements for AMS
Raising replacements for AMS

Case Studies

The following AMS labour case studies have been prepared from a labour audits conducted on AMS farms 2013/14. The case studies reflect each farm’s situation at that time. Like all farms, these operations have evolved since the time the case studies were prepared. Please read these case studies in this context. While they are a snapshot taken at a particularly time, these case studies demonstrate the potential impact of AMS on five farms who all invested in AMS with quite different objectives.

Converting to an Automatic Milk System

Jim and Sue Ford  (hypothetical case study)

Milk more cows in less hours

Peter and Kathryn Costello, Tongala Victoria

Batch milking with robots

Lindsay and Jacinta Anderson, Athlone, Gippsland

Robots attract new entrants to dairying

Doug, Lyn and Bill Crosby, Conmurra South Australia

Robots improve labour efficiency, lifestyle

John, Caroline and Arjan van Adrichem, Togari, Tasmania