Friday 30 September 2016

Taking the milking to the Ploughing

A local farmer will be showcasing the merits of robotic milking and zero grazing at this week's Ploughing in Tullamore

Derek Casey

Published 20/09/2016 | 02:30

Tim Mannion's herd of cows will be on show in a robotic milking display at the Lely stand
Tim Mannion's herd of cows will be on show in a robotic milking display at the Lely stand

In what is sure to be a big attraction at the Ploughing, Lely will once again host a live robotic milking exhibition over the three-day event.

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A herd of 40 cows have made the short journey from Tim Mannion's farm in Birr, Co Offaly to a purpose-built dairy unit on site, where they will be milked at their leisure during the show as they are on the home farm.

Speaking about the event, Tim Mannion said: "We started milking with two Lely Astronaut A4 milking robots in May 2014 and now, over two years on, it's been a big success.

"It's great that people will have the opportunity of seeing our cows in action and they will experience at first-hand how efficient the system is and how well the cows are cared for.

"They are in a completely stress-free environment and have the freedom of choice to be milked at any time of the day or night. We are now producing milk on a consistent basis 12 months of the year."

Niall McGauran from Lely Center Mullingar provides 24/7 back up in the local area, as well as advice in areas from shed design, layout, grazing and installation along with startup.

Niall said the system fits neatly in to most existing sheds with minimal building work required.

Lely's Tomás Cooney commented: "The live milking demo will provide farmers with the perfect opportunity of experiencing the efficiencies and labour savings that automation can bring.

"The cows will be fed zero grazed grass this year as they are on the home farm. We will also have a Lely Juno Feed pusher in action which will push the grass in regularly in front of the cows.

"There will be loads for the viewing public to see including live interviews with some of our customers on the stand each day at 11am, 2pm and 4pm.

"Different topics from grazing and cow health to labour saving will be discussed."

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