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notice technology benefits
Beeston speaks to North Island farmers during the technology tour. His daughter
Frances is at right.
farms leading the way in the use of technology to raise production were on show
to farmers from Taranaki, Waikato and Manawatu recently.
farms in Mid and South Canterbury were opened for the farmers during a tour
organised by bankers ANZ New Zealand.
country's largest agricultural lender, the bank hosted the tour to highlight
the benefits of investing in cutting-edge robotic technology to obtain the best
farms were leading the way in adopting high-tech solutions to boost farm
production, Graham Turley, the bank's commercial and agri managing director,
proud to be involved in helping other farmers gain from their expertise and
experience first-hand the benefits investing in technology can bring,'' he said.
stands contentedly to be milked by a robotic machine at Camelot Robotic Dairy
Farm. Photos by Maureen Bishop.
is increasingly about running a good business and number eight wire will no
longer cut it. Farmers are making serious investments in robotics and other
technologies that make a real difference in enabling large-scale,
environmentally sustainable farms to produce even higher returns,'' he said.
the four farms, Pannetts Dairies Ltd, Turley Farms Ltd, Camelot Robotic Dairy
Farm, and Riverholme Robotic Dairy Farm, were selected because of the
innovations adopted and results achieved so far.
of Camelot Farm at Anama, Bryan and Annette Beeston explained the workings of
the farm which breeds milk Holstein Fresian and brown Swiss cows but it was
their daughter, Frances who spoke enthusiastically about the milking of 560
cows by eight A4 Lely Astronaut robotic machines.
lactating cows average between two and a-half and three and a-half milkings a
day, while others average between one and a-half and two and a-half milkings
the cows to enter the shed for the robotic milking took a lot of patience,
Frances said. Water was turned off in paddocks, forcing the cows to seek it at
the shed. Once they had been trained to enter voluntarily, the water was
reinstated in paddocks.
collars allow the cows to open gates and head for the shed. They are rewarded
with food and after milking, gain access to fresh pasture.
were underfed, they would come in early; if overfed they would not come in, so
getting the feed balance right was important, Frances said.
had a word of advice for his counterparts from the north:''People that go into
robots love cows, not the technology,'' he said.
farmers saw a 950-cow stalled barn at Pannetts Dairies at Intima, All stock
feed was cut and carried to the barn, allowing a high level of control over
nutrients delivered. The cows were milked through a 60-bale rotary dow shed.
Pleasant Point, the tour visited Riverholme Robotic Dairy Farm where they saw
De Label robotic machines used to milk 300 cows. Cows were grazed outside on
pastures and the farm was trialling pasture mixes to minimise nutrient
discharge from cows.
used a unique automated calf-feeding system.
fourth farm on the tour was Turley Farms at Temuka. A range of cereal, seed and
vegetable crops were grown on more than 4000ha. The company has invested in
processing and packaging, and played a lead role in the construction of a flour
mill in Timaru. The farm uses variable-rate irrigation, yield-mapping and