Farm workers 'more productive' with tech aids
Farmers must check the costs of all investments carefully but there are substantial labour savings to be gained by investing in technology, according to Teagasc's Tom Ryan.
Mr Ryan said good facilities in a parlour and yard mean the farmer, family workers and hired labour will be much more content and efficient.
"You will also be able to rely more on employed labour and they'll be more productive when it is drudgery-free," he said.
"For some of the people it could be argued they are working way too hard at the moment."
He said it was essential to ensure good throughput in the parlour so one is not spending more than 75 minutes morning and evening in the pit and cows are not standing in the collecting yard for too long.
Enough milking units to match herd size and available milkers will go a long way to achieve this.
Automatic cluster removers detach clusters when cows are milked saving time while preventing teat end damage from over-milking. Custer removers ensure consistent milking even with different milkers. Swing arms clear up the centre of the pit, achieve better cluster alignment and reduce the weight and length of rubber tubing.
Automatic gates to the front and back that can be opened and closed from anywhere in the pit are also key time-savers, along with in-parlour feeding systems.