Engineer, Doctor and Dairy Farmer are not normally spoken in the same sentence, but are very much equals. Not necessarily by pay scale, but in their ability to access leading global technologies. Dairy youth may view these technologies as reason to stay on the farm. Automated milking robots are a hot topic at many farm kitchen tables these days. Aside from rapid advancement in the equipment itself, these milking robots may be the saving grace for dairy farm operations and the next generation needed to run them.
The up and coming 2014 Canadian Dairy XPO is held annually in Stratford Ontario each February and will be showcasing five milking robots side-by-side.
The technology behind milking robots has come a long way since the introduction into the Canadian marketplace, back in 1999. As the pioneer in the category, Lely Global just announced their "2013 Yellow Revolution" launching their new smartphone farm management software. From the palm of your hand, you can monitor both robot and cow performance and troubleshoot real time. Not only has the technology advanced, but the mindset and acceptance from dairy producers' has also improved dramatically. No, the milking robot does not replace the producer, it aids the producer. Yes, milking robot owners have more flexibility for family time; but does it also create a perk for youth to stay on the dairy operation, that otherwise may leave for a more tech friendly industry?
"If robotic milking can help keep the best of the next generation on the dairy farm, then we have all won" states the Canadian Dairy XPO GM and Founder, Jordon Underhill. "There`s no question, we are only beginning the milking robot revolution here in North America, but it's not all about the machine and the cows. There is a human element here and the next generation doesn't necessarily want to milk cows the way their fathers or grandfathers did for decades. We all need to accept that."
The modern dairy producer now has options when it comes to robotic milking. Five different global manufacturers will be showcased at the 2014 Dairy XPO, including the Canadian made tie-stall robot "Roboleo" by Milkomax Solutions Laitières Inc.
Nicolas Rousseau, President of Milkomax says that their goal is simple. "Make better use of the producer's time and save their knees and back from the wear and tear of milking in a tie-stall set-up. The second goal is individual data collection per cow, to improve items such as health and production monitoring."
At the 2014 Dairy XPO, you can expect to see multi-box style robots, double box style robots, single box style robots and of course the new tie-stall robot in operation. For the first time on the planet you can see them side-by-side, demonstrating ongoing udder attachment and live stream cow flow to a functional barn. Participants will include: Lely, BouMatic Robotics, GEA, Milkomax and DeLaval.
"2013 was the CDX inaugural year and clearly attracted a large number of interested dairy producers from across Canada; each eager to evaluate the distinctive robotic technologies showcased under one roof." states Paul Prekup, District Manager for DeLaval Canada. "We observed some dairy producers arriving with stop watches in hand so they could compare udder attachment times. From our perspective, we expect the upcoming 2014 XPO will match the success of 2013."
Dates for the 2014 Canadian Dairy XPO are Wednesday Feb 5th and Thursday Feb 6th held at the Stratford Rotary Complex, in Stratford Ontario, Canada. For more information, visit www.dairyxpo.ca or contact Marketing and Media Manager, Donna Powell at 226-381-0282 Ext #4.