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Robotic Milking - Teagasc Research Feature on The Science Squad tonight on RTÉ One

Are the days of dairy farmers being tied to the farm set to become a thing of the past with the help of robots? With milk quotas due to be lifted in 2015, farmers will need all the help they can get and Teagasc is examining the viability of robotic milking systems for Irish farms. Robotic milking is a voluntary milking system, which allows cows to present themselves for milking as they wish, without the presence of the farmer. Each cow is fitted with a sensor so that when they enter for milking the robot can identify them and the focus of the research trial is to examine how robotic milking can be combined with pasture-based grazing. Presenter Jonathan McCrea tries his hand at milking some cows the old school way (and finds out he won’t be giving up the day job!) and meets Teagasc’s Bernadette O’Brien to find out how the innovative system works.

Teagasc research is examining the viability of robotic milking systems integrated with grazing. This research endeavours to assess if this labour saving, knowledge-driven system of management is sustainable into the future. The successful integration of robotic milking systems with grazing has been achieved by implementing a three-way (or ABC) grazing system, maintaining high standards of grazing and herd management and adapting to assessing the information provided by robotic milking system.

Presenter Jonathan McCrea speaking with Bernadette O'Brien, Teagasc