A review of the literature on milking technologies
The research literature relating to the milking technologies is analyzed here. There are different types of systems available worldwide for automatic milking. Major themes or topics which the literature addresses are the automatic milking systems, milking procedure, herd management, robotic milking, contemporary situation and the challenges faced. The management and organizational issues are important in the implication of automatic milking system in New Zealand (Butler & Holloway, 2016). It will also be important in the considerations of upgrading the technology in such a manner that it supports the main stakeholders. The findings and analysis pertaining to this topic will be described in the course of this assignment. While reviewing the literature, the focus was only on the practical findings and not on the theoretical data.
Automatic Milking System
The automatically milking systems can actually offer a good quality of life by providing flexibility and freedom of social activities. Such activities provide the confidence that both the cows as well as the system are productive. The labor efficiency is also taken into consideration in the automatic milking system as the efficiency of the labor is increased with this new system. Small and medium cattle sizes require an average of one person for every 60- 100 cows whereas the large cattle size needs one person for 150- 200 cows. The innovative system not only increases efficiency but also gives way for employment of some highly qualified, well trained and skilled people. There is a probability of increase in milk frequency too with respect to the effectiveness of cows and the total milk production by utilizing the same labor. This kind of milking system is constant, vigilant and tedious while training cows, especially the young cattle (Moyes et al., 2014).
An important theme in this literature is that of customized and consistent milking procedure. The possibility to customize each and every step of the milking routine is dependent on the manufacturer. In this way, the consistency in the robot’s milking procedure endorses better mammary gland health or udder of the female cattle.
With the introduction of the unique cleaning requirements at various teats cleaning levels of the female cattle the environmental challenges can be faced. Such milking procedures provide an opportunity to manage actively thus preventing over milking. This is also a way in which the udder health and teat condition of the female cattle are improved. The automating cleaning procedures are performed between cows to maintain the hygiene of the equipments. It can be taken for instance that if it is found that either the cow or the device has a problem or if there is any fault of the manager then the system will automatically inform the producer of the company about the current issue (O’ Brien et al., 2015).
With this new system the information is processed and filtered by the herd management software after each and every milking. In this way, the manager can get the proper data and the thus the possibility to work fast and smartly increased. The monitoring of the udder health of the cattle including the conductivity, milking interval and expected yields when integrated with logarithms made it possible for the herd managers to seek out those cows that have mastitis or had prior risk of infection at earlier levels (Tse et al., 2017).
For customized feeding regimes robots can be used as a tool at both group and cow levels on the basis of milk production, days counted and the different stages of lactation on the basis of feeding strategies and the cow traffic situation. The reliable data and information can be stored and preserved for n number of cows over many years. There is automatic diversion of milk from the cows that are treated under this system. The feature of remote access allows the managers to become flexible in terms of the operational activities and sometimes make use of a robot, in remote condition whenever connected to the internet (Rodenburg 2017).
With the combined data the producers can also shed light on the efforts put and the resources used on the management of priority cows. The system is able to customize the milking frequency of the prioritized cows using sort gates in order to develop labor efficiency, cow welfare and performance. This system has the probability to increase the capacity of the total system on the basis of milking interval and the expected yield (Schewe & Stuart, 2015).
Robotic milking has become an important factor in the food chain industry. It requires a different kind of approach to manage a farm with milking robots as compared to the traditional way of milking. A farm needs to have many years of experience and valid research outcome that enable the farm to go through an accurate method of successful milking. The milking robot of a farm provides cow- related information which was not possible in a traditional situation. Thus, it becomes possible to manage the animals at the primary level in the contemporary situation. It is a new challenge in front of the dairy farmers to manage innovation and exception. The purpose behind the use of robot milking technology is to make sure that the farm managers invest their time in concentrating on the cows (Scott et al., 2014).
The introduction of a concept ‘license to produce’ pays attention to the sustainability of dairy farming with regard to the people, planet and profit. The milking robot makes it possible to provide each of the cows with their requirement for a healthy life, good production and well- being without any extra effort. It is a strong fact that a cow becomes happy and healthy on the basis of a successful dairy farming. With the use of this system there will be more milk production per cow with a better ratio for fat-to-protein. The cows will be able to milk more per robot without any extra effort thus presenting the farmers with a better social life (Šev?ík et al., 2016).
Realities of automatic milking system
The human element remains a critical factor in the management of working with a variety of herds around the world. It is not possible to give rise to a successful dairy business in today’s unstable world without a group of motivated, capable and dedicated workforce. The owners, employees or the dairy families are social and flexible and therefore looking for better quality of life. As a result of this fluctuation in the producers and managers, the attention towards the well- being of the cows is being reduced to a great extent. The automated milking system was presumed to be an opportunity for the sustenance of the dairy industry all over the world. Accordingly it grew enormously proving the new technology to be reliable and dependent for the dairy farms (Shortall et al., 2016).
Various grassland countries such as New Zealand have adopted this new technology of cow traffic along with management strategies to make more profits in the highly competitive market. The automatic milking system will continue to grow in the future of dairy farming but still the managers think before making the investment. This system has become popular with the use if robots who can work on diagnostics and self- performance check but might not repair itself. Therefore there should always be scope for scheduled maintenance. Moreover the robots cannot resolve the problem of bedding or nutrition. Further there is more opportunity for integrated technologies for improving the udder health and the metabolic disorders of the cattle (Sigurdsson et al., 2015).
Issues faced in the modern system of milking
The biggest challenge in using the new system was the cost of procurement. Other challenges included the fear of mechanical failure while learning the new technology. All the dairy farmers who have adopted this technology felt the need of a better and improvised technical support. There was a problem with the slow speed and often there was a issue to connect to the correct person. However it was reported that with the commonness of the milking robots, the technical support has improved and more experience is gained with the system (Tousova et al., 2014).
Some of the users have reported that the learners in the field while adopting the software or interpret data from the robots can be considered as new challenges. Also at the time of milking the diversion of abnormal milk is a crucial factor in maintain the milk quality. It can be suggested that the automatic milking system should have sensors to look into the diversion of abnormal milk (Tse, 2016).
Butler, D., & Holloway, L. (2016). Technology and Restructuring the Social Field of Dairy Farming: Hybrid Capitals,‘Stockmanship’and Automatic Milking Systems. Sociologia Ruralis, 56(4), 513-530.
Moyes, K. M., Ma, L., McCoy, T. K., & Peters, R. R. (2014). A survey regarding the interest and concern associated with transitioning from conventional to automated (robotic) milking systems for managers of small-to medium-sized dairy farms. The Professional Animal Scientist, 30(4), 418-422.
O’Brien, B., Foley, C., Shortall, J., & Shalloo, L. (2015). An economic appraisal of automatic and conventional milking within a grass based seasonal milk production system. In European conference on precision livestock farming, Milan, Italy, 15-18 September 2015.
Rodenburg, J. (2017). Robotic milking: Technology, farm design, and effects on work flow. Journal of dairy science, 100(9), 7729-7738.
Schewe, R. L., & Stuart, D. (2015). Diversity in agricultural technology adoption: How are automatic milking systems used and to what end?. Agriculture and Human Values, 32(2), 199-213.
Scott, V. E., Thomson, P. C., Kerrisk, K. L., & Garcia, S. C. (2014). Influence of provision of concentrate at milking on voluntary cow traffic in a pasture-based automatic milking system. Journal of dairy science, 97(3), 1481-1490.
Šev?ík, J., Falta, D., Somerlíková, K., & Fry?, J. (2016). Comparison of Conventional and automatiC milking systems at extreme Conditions by thermographiC method. Acta Technologica Agriculturae, 19(4), 96-100.
Shortall, J., Shalloo, L., Foley, C., Sleator, R. D., & O’Brien, B. (2016). Investment appraisal of automatic milking and conventional milking technologies in a pasture-based dairy system. Journal of dairy science, 99(9), 7700-7713.
Sigurdsson, S., SEGES, A. D., Justesen, P., SEGES, A. D., Manninen, E., Hettasch, T., ... & Sverige, V. (2015). Development of AMS [Automatic Milking System] in the Nordic countries between 1996 and 2014. In NJF Congress: Nordic view to sustainable rural development, 25, Riga (Latvia), 16-18 Jun 2015. NJF Latvia.
Tousova, R., DUCHACEK, J., STADNIK, L., Ptacek, M., & BERAN, J. (2014). The comparison of milk production and quality in cows from conventional and automatic milking systems. Journal of Central European Agriculture, 15(4), 0-0.
Tse, C. (2016). The Adoption of Automatic Milking Systems on Canadian Dairy Farms: Changes in Cow Health, Management and Animal Welfare (Doctoral dissertation, University of Calgary).
Tse, C., Barkema, H. W., DeVries, T. J., Rushen, J., & Pajor, E. A. (2017). Effect of transitioning to automatic milking systems on producers' perceptions of farm management and cow health in the Canadian dairy industry. Journal of dairy science, 100(3), 2404-2414.