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Automatic milking systems

Milking Edge Project

Report Card - Milking Edge The Milking Edge Project was a 4-year initiative funded by Dairy Australia, NSW Department of Primary Industries and DeLaval built on over a decade of R&D as part of the FutureDairy Project and the experience of multiple commercial automatic milking systems (AMS) farmers that had adopted the technology.

The aim of Milking Edge was to "Support the Australian dairy industry to consider, invest and operate automatic milking systems (AMS) successfully".

Milking Edge came to an end in April 2022. As we continue to see an increase in adoption of precision farming technologies such as AMS into the future, we believe that the tools, resources and support that were developed and established as part of Milking Edge will continue to have a long-lasting positive impact in the Australian dairy industry.

A complete report containing the key achievements of the Milking Edge project is available here.

Tools and resources available

The Milking Edge project successfully developed tools and resources that will continue to support farmers and service providers interested in AMS. Some of them include:

  • Online AMS information modules
    • A series of 8 modules covering key farm management areas. They are free and available online. Each one takes ~1 hour and you can start / stop them at any time and they can be accessed on a computer, tablet or mobile. You can complete one or more modules to suit your needs or interest.
    • These are a great resource for farmers considering investing in AMS, those looking at working on AMS farms, those that work with farmers that have invested in AMS or those interested in technology!
    • There are available on Dairy Australia’s online learning platform, Enlight.
  • A series of 1-page information sheets with the main concepts behind the key AMS farm management topics. These can guide farmers or advisors through the key messages, features and options on each topic. They are also included in the respective online information modules. They can be accessed here .
  • Better understanding of AMS physical and financial performance:
    • Scientific publication on the "Physical and economic comparison of pasture-based automatic and conventional milking systems” by Dr Juan Gargiulo. It can be accessed here.
    • A final report of the "Profitability of Australian AMS farms 2015/16 to 2019/20". It can be accessed here.
    • An episode on "The Business of Dairy podcast" on "Are Automatic Milking Systems Profitable in Australia?" that can be listed on your favourite podcast channel or here .
    • A "Case study comparing the profitability of AMS and CMS operations for one dairy business". It can be accessed here.
  • AMS Integrated Management Model (AMS IMM)
    • This is the first decision-support system available for pasture-based AMS.
    • It provides farmers either considering investing in AMS or those already operating AMS a better understanding of the system and its performance.
    • This tool allows you to explore the key physical and economic impacts of different configurations and management options.
    • Additionally, it allows AMS farmers to identify areas of underperformance and propose alternative pathways to optimise whole system performance.
    • The AMS IMM can be found here.
  • A series of webinars with invited dairy farmers, service providers and researchers on topics related to AMS, that can be accessed here.
  • Two online showcases:
    • AMS R&D Online Showcase, where 23 researchers from around the world shared the latest on AMS R&D. Watch the recordings here.
    • Milking Edge AMS Farm Showcase, where 13 farmers and 7 service providers shared their first-hand knowledge and experience working with AMS. Watch the recordings here.
  • A report from a survey we conducted to understand how different farmers, in Australia and overseas, were training, managing and monitoring their heifers. The report can be accessed here.

For more information

If you want to know more about the Milking Edge project or for any question related to automatic milking systems, please contact Nicolas Lyons (nicolas.lyons@dpi.nsw.gov.au / 0401 650 073), Leader Dairy with NSW DPI.

For any other information related to automatic milking systems, please visit Dairy Australia’s website.