"> New technology has transformed working life of Cumbrian farming family - eDairyNews-EN
AN increasing number of dairy farmers in Cumbria are seriously embracing the latest innovation to make their lives easier, put more milk in the tank with less effort and achieve optimal feed efficiency for healthy and productive cows and calves.
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New system: Agnes Robinson

Amongst them is Agnes Robinson and her family.

“I used to carry 12 litre buckets of milk twice a day, seven days a week from dairy to the calf shed before lifting to pour in to the troughs. It seemed like a life sentence,” says Agnes who farms a 230-cow herd near Kendal, with her husband Raymond, daughter Tracy and family.“Twelve months ago, we decided to invest in a Calm automatic calf feeding system, and it’s not only transformed my whole working life, but also calf performance.

“The system is saving me over two hours a day repetitive manual work, whilst nowadays I’ve quality time to spend with each calf. First thing in the morning, I check through the system to see how much every calf has drunk during the last 24 hours, an indicator of their health status and the onset of any potential issues. I then keep a close eye on the pen to make sure there are no signs of infections. The system has also given me more time to daily thoroughly clean out the water buckets and concentrate troughs.”Agnes spends approximately 10 minutes at each end of the day filling the machine with milk powder and checking it over, whilst it automatically cleans itself which makes for ease of management as well as good hygiene.

The family has also invested in four A5 robotic milking systems in the last 12 months during which period average herd yield has increased by 15 percent to 9,200 litres. “Apart from improved performance, the robots are enabling our cows to make their own choices, they are giving us more flexibility and they are guaranteeing a future for the family farm.”

A dairy checkoff group says holiday demand for butter is strong this year. Suzanne Fanning with Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin tells Brownfield sales have not fallen since the start of the pandemic.

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