AMS takes off in Oz

Nov 10, 2009

Automatic milking is taking off in Australia.
Over the past year, the Australian dairy industry has seen a marked increase in interest in robotic or automatic milking systems (AMS). Dr Kendra Kerrisk who leads FutureDairy’s AMS research at Camden, NSW said that people are still showing interest despite the current difficult financial times. “Like any new dairy, AMS is a major investment so dairy farmers plan well ahead. Some of the current interest in AMS may be from farmers looking several years ahead,” she said. Dr Kerrisk said there are currently eight commercial Australian farms and two New Zealand farms with AMS up and running. There are now AMS farms in north, west and eastern Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania. Another two Australian dairy farms have either signed up for AMS or are in the installation phase. “By the end of the year there will be at least 46 machines operating across Australasia. Most Australian AMS farms have two to four robotic units.” AMS has been used commercially in overseas countries for many years. There are about 15,000 robots in operation worldwide installed on 10,000 farms in about 32 countries. These farms are predominantly indoor systems with cows housed for all or most of the year. “While the automatic units are well proven, a challenge for Australian pasture-based farms has been to implement a farming system that allows us to maintain a high level of pasture utilisation. Our research at Camden has demonstrated that this is indeed achievable under commercial conditions” Over the past two years, pasture utilisation at the Camden AMS has been 14.9 and 15.6 tonne DM/ha on irrigated pastures. “We should no longer be concerned about having the ability to maintain a high level of pasture utilisation when cows are moving around the system in a voluntary fashion,” she said.

For more information contact Dr Kendra Kerrisk, FutureDairy

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Information for media
FutureDairy is a national research project for the Australian dairy industry, aimed at addressing the challenges likely to occur in the next 20 years. FutureDairy’s major sponsors are Dairy Australia, DeLaval and Industry & Investment NSW (formerly DPI NSW) and the University of Sydney. Project leader: Associate Professor Yani Garcia ph (02) 9351-1631; email:

Media contact: This media has been released by Monks Communication on behalf of the FutureDairy project.
Lee-Ann Monks ph 07 5450 0946 or 0419 349 244 email:
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Approval Kendra Kerrisk 30/10/09
Final sign off (Yani Garcia Project Leader) 3/11/09 via email approval of same Info Sheet