Using mobile milking robots for special quality dairy products based on site-specific grazing

Oudshoorn, F.W.; Philipsen, A.P.; Dufrasne, L.; Pol-van Dasselaar, A. van den


An option for combining grazing and automatic milking is Infield Automatic Milking, with more or less mobile infield automatic milking systems (IAMS), which have been practiced since 2008 in several European countries. This emerging technology can be used to harvest milk from specific areas, giving specialized dairies the possibility to market concept milk, cheese or butter. Terroir dairy can be a new way to increase marginal product value and thereby farm income. Three different options are described; i) the IAMS placed on a stationary platform in the field, ii) movable together with facilities necessary for the functionality from field to field, iii) as a self propelled moving unit that changes positions in the field every day, requiring transportation of the milk to the field border. All systems could guarantee dairy products based on maximum grazing for the period the pasture can provide sufficient feeding. Batch size depends on the dairies minimum process volume for the specific products, local conditions will be decisive for the amount of days needed for pooling before production.