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21st century milking


A LANCASHIRE farm has invested in a hi-tech robotic milking system in a move which will allow it to increase its herd.

Graham and Janet Young, of Greenhurst Farm in Samlesbury, near Blackburn, have replaced 50 old cubicles traditionally used for milking cows, with a state of the art DeLaval robotic milking system.

Graham and Janets family has farmed the land for 45 years, is also expecting to see an increase in productivity. The new technology will free up farm workers as the process is largely automated, and Graham is hoping to increase his herd to 180 milking cows.

Robotic milking systems are still relatively unusual in the UK, but in Europe have become more commonplace. Supporters of the technology say it also has animal welfare benefits.

Andrew Holden, solicitor in the Rural department at Napthens, advised Graham on legal issues. Funding was from Royal Bank of Scotland. Graham also received support from the NFU, through a members deal with builders merchant Jewsons.

Andrew said: Graham and Janet are real forward thinking farmers and have embraced the new technology that is available with great results.

It is rare to see such investment in todays economic climate and a farmer investing in his facilities is something to be welcomed.

Graham added: Robotic milkers are still quite rare in this country, but are far more popular in Europe.

Each robotic system can milk 60 to 70 cows, and the herd can enter and leave the facility at their own pace without a team of workers being on hand. We are confident the system will increase productivity on our farm and free up staff to work in other areas.

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