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TheDairySite Newsletter - 1st May 2015

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Friday 1st May 2015.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

MSD Animal Health

Novus International

Robot Cow Herders Offer Opportunity for Milking Robots

Moving cows with auto-herding techniques could maximise productivity in robotic systems, early Australian research indicates.

The University of Sydney has found that cows can be persuaded to head for milking at the most awkward times of the day. 

Researchers simulated auto-herding by moving the herd from the pasture into the laneway to the robots and shutting the gate. This was done at 11pm and 1 am.

“I wanted to find out whether the cows would take themselves up to the dairy to be milked or if they’d just hang around in the laneway; and if the time of fetching made any difference,” said post graduate student, Ashleigh Wildridge.

“Most of the cows did in fact continue from the laneway up to the dairy to be milked. And the time of fetching didn’t make much difference.”

Australia’s pasture-based herds using automatic milking systems (AMS) tend to dip in milkings when cows rest – between 2am and 5am, explained Professor Kendra Kerrisk, project leader of Future Dairy.

The study, carried out on a 250 cow herd using four AMS box units in West Gippsland, Victoria, found cows with a 16 hour milking interval decreased four-fold from 4.6 per cent to 1.7 per cent.

Furthermore, mastitis incidence fell. 

Researchers point to several potential gadgets that could be used to muster cows at times when their milking activity drops.

The University of Sydney’s own dairy unmanned ground vehicle is a robot which can be programmed to ‘calmly’ move cattle out of a paddock.

There is also a fence walker, already available in the industry for strip grazing purposes. Electrical shocks are delivered as an electrified wire moves forward attached to two robots.

Thirdly, a ‘virtual fence’ works by noise and electric pulses delivered by a cow collar, triggered when cows cross a predetermined boundary.

New Antibiotics Guidance Released

Dairy farmers in the UK have new best practice on how to use antimicrobial products through the dry cow phase. 

A strong emphasis is placed on farmer/vet communication, record keeping and treating individual animals as opposed to herd level treatments. read more

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Early Calf Separation from Cow Leads to Different Social Life
Cows and calves are often separated only a few hours after birth to help improve dairy productivity. However, such separations can have long-term effects on social behaviour when the calf grows up.

Cattle Have No Close Contact With Badgers
Electronic collars have shown that cattle do not commonly interact with badgers at close range.

Rumen Papillae Adapt During Transition Period
Dietary strategies around the transition period are continually evolving, writes a ruminant specialist at a leading US research farm.

Heifer Rearing: When Do They Pay You Back?
Recent estimates of the cost of rearing have ranged from £1,000 to £1,500, and tend to average around £1,200, report analysts at DairyCo.

Does Forage Particle Size Affect Heifer Distiller Grains Utilisation?
Particle size is important for digestion in cattle, but there was little difference between growth performance of heifers fed either chopped or pelleted diets in a recent study.

Market Reports

USDA Agricultural Prices - 1 May 2015
Dairy Australia - Market News - 1 May 2015
UK Agricultural Industry Total Factor Productivity 2014 - 1st Estimate
UK Total Income from Farming 2014 - 1st Estimate
UK Milk Prices and Composition of Milk - March 2015
Irish CSO Reports - Milk Statistics March 2015
USDA Dairy Products - 30 April 2015
USDA Dairy Products Annual Summary - 30 April 2015
USDA Cattle on Feed - 27 April 2015

Global Dairy Industry News

   United States

Seasonality of Milk Production: Does Size Matter?
Difficult Times Ahead for US Dairy Farmers
Protein Packaging Sector to Be Worth $11 Billion in 2019


Farmers Reminded of Electricity Danger
Alltech, Ridley Agree Merger


Mexico Shakes Up Dairy Sector to Reduce Import Need


Somali Livestock Exports Reach Record 5million

   United Kingdom

Tailor Dry Cow Therapy to Individuals, Industry Told
Royal Honour for Head of Yeo Valley
Calf Rearing Demonstration to be Held at Livestock Event
Scottish Farming Union Sees GM Feed Proposals as Unworkable
Arla Milk Price Unchanged For May


Slight Drop in Average Price of Chinese Farm Produce

   Russian Federation

Genetic Work Paying Off For Russians

   European Union

Red Tape Removal Needed for Trade Talks Success
FrieslandCampina Milk Price Falls in May
More Freedom for EU to Decide on Use of GMO's for Food and Feed

   New Zealand

Fonterra Price Falls Again
Fonterra Price Drops Further
Body Condition Score to Enter Breeding Values


BRF Income Soars


Urgent Need to Find Solutions in Farm Trade Talks
Environmental Feed Life Cycle Guidelines Released
Livestock Identification and Recording Vital for Food Security
Maize to Lead Global Grain Contraction
Uniting to Sustain African Farming
Could the Apple Watch Fit Farming?


Joint Venture Passes Whey Between Companies


New Bluetongue Strain Found in Australia
Drought-hit Aussies Finding Heifers Earn More than Steers


Environmental Pasture Management Yields More Grass


The Drost Project - A Visual Guide to Porcine, Pig Reproduction.
Antimicrobial Resistance
Biomin - Surveying the Global Mycotoxin Threat


CID LINES - Innovative Hygiene Solutions
Biomin - The Natural Way
EBBE - European Board Of Bovine Experts

Life Technologies


Termotecnica Pericoli SRL
The Pig, Poultry, Beef, Fish, Dairy, Meat, Cattle, Crop & Bioenergy Sites From 5M Publishing From 5M Publishing

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