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Farm Profile

Location: Latitude 50°07’N, Longitude 08°16’W

Area: 28 ha

Milking Cows: 85 cows with replacement heifers and calves reared off farm

System: AMS grazing system – spring calving herd

The key to a successful AMS grazing system is the ability of the cow to present herself voluntarily for milking, over the 24h period. Also, as only one cow can be milked at a time, it is very important that not all cows present themselves at the same time, as this will lead to excessive queuing and waiting in the collecting yard.  Cow movement to the robot and around the system is controlled by the grazing management parameters. The key to this optimal cow flow is the correct allocation of grass throughout the day and night. In Kilworth, there is a 4 way grazing system in operation – ABCD. Therefore, cows have access to four different allocations of grass within a 24 hour timeframe. The decision as to which Block a specific cow will be sent to is determined by the time she approached the drafting gate. Below are the current times allocated to each block:

  • A: 09:00 – 14:00
  • C: 14:00 – 19:00
  • B: 19:00 – 01:00
  • D: 01:00- 09:00

For example, if a cow approaches the drafting gate 8am, and has either been milked or is not due to be milked, she will be sent to D. With an ABCD system, in theory, cows can pass through the yard four times per day, thus allowing them to be milked up to 4 times/day. However, cows are not milked each time they come to the yard, this is dependent on the milking permission which can be set for the herd as a whole, different groups, or for the individual cow.

Soil Type: Relatively free-draining acid brown earth of loam texture

Paddocks: 48 paddocks divided into 4 grazing blocks - ABCD

Dairy Infrastructure:

  • 1 Lely AMS
  • 2 Grazeway drafting gates
  • 1 winter housing shed

Farm Map

Yard Layout