Innovative and sustainable systems combining automatic milking and precision grazing

    Project: EU research project

    Project Details

    Description

    AUTOGRASSMILK is a unique cooperation of SME associations representing close to 100,000 SME’s in Ireland, Denmark, The Netherlands, France, Belgium, and Sweden and the core agricultural RTD’s of these countries. AUTOGRASSMILK will analyze, develop, experiment and disseminate concepts for integrating grazing and automatic milking (AM) for dairy farms. By using a network of RTD’s, advisory connected to SME-AGs, 20 monitor farms spread over Europe and two partner farms the concepts will be solidly documented and demonstrated. Dairy farming in Europe is a very important agricultural sector, employing over 600,000 professional farm managers (not including their staff), and more than 400,000 in the processing industry. Dairy farming in Europe has adopted AM at an accelerating rate for reasons such as improvement in lifestyle, less physical work, attracting skilled labour and for increased profitability based on higher milk production and lower labour costs. With AM, the cow is milked individually at her own free will, which is an entirely new way of dairy farming. Up to now, indoor feeding systems have been well adapted to AM, however grazing has not. Traditional pasture research does not provide the answers when AM is combined with grazing. Grazing has many advantages for economy, environment, animal welfare and product quality. With the increased focus on sustainability in society, these are very important, and crucially, grass is a low-cost high quality feed if it is managed well. To ensure a wide application among all types of farms, the six partners represent the whole range from extensive family size AM farms to intensive large dairy herds with the latest AM technology. AUTOGRASSMILK has the potential to increase the competitiveness of dairy farming in Europe by developing feeding strategies for dairy cows incorporating grazed grass with AM for various production systems.
    AcronymAUTOGRASSMILK
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date1/01/1331/12/15