Robotic Rotary Parlor Built in North Dakota
Unlike traditional robotic dairies and rotary parlors, Qual Dairy in Libson, N.D., took a different approach to dairy farming and capitalized on new technology. Installing a robotic rotary parlor, the operation is now the fourth parlor of its kind to be installed in North America and only the 15thin the world.
Construction on the multi-million-dollar facility was completed in April, each stall in the 60-stall rotary can be customized to each animal. The sensor-driven technology milks approximately 220 cows per hour using information gathered from the cow’s neck tag along with a 3-dimensional digital camera serving as the “eye’s” for the robot.
During milking, workers monitor two dashboards to make sure everything is running smoothly. If a problem occurs, the system will alert the employee letting them know exactly which animal needs attention. These statistics can also be analyzed on the farmer’s smartphone.
No stranger to taking advantage of the innovative technology offered today, the Qual family houses their animals in a state-of-the-art freestall barn equipped with robotic feed pushers and a neck tag system to monitor heats, movement and feed consumption.
"It's kind of a legacy move on our part," said Rodney Qual. "We've done several budgets and I think it should work."
A similar 40-cow robotic rotary parlor was recently built in Peshtigo, Wis.
Hoffman’s Happy Holsteins, a 550-cow dairy has been milking with this system for only seven months but hopes to pay for it by reducing labor. Hoffman also saw the benefits of technology and was the first dairy farmer in the U.S. to begin using this form of robotics.
For a video of a robot rotary in action, visit https://www.milkbusiness.com/rotaryrobot