The dairy control and management system in the robotic

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The dairy control and management system in the robotic

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The dairy control and management system in the robotic milking farm

S. Devir

2 2 SEP. 1995 UB-CA!

1. The use of a milking robot merely to free the farmer from the technical procedure of attaching teat cups does not exploit to the full the robot's real potential in the dairy. this thesis
2. While the industry has invested in recent years a lot of effort in developing techniques for robotic milking, the development and validation of a re-shaped management concept and tools are still at an early stage. this thesis
3. The daily capacity of the milking robot should be measured in terms of number of milkings rather than number of cows in the herd. this thesis
4. Individual milking frequency can be used as an additional and efficient tool in the control of milk production. Maltz and Metz, 1994
5. Tracing the cows' behaviourial pattern by the number of visits to different sites in the barn can be used as an additional factor to improve management decisions.
6. The individual cow management approach allows us to handle each cow as a production unit on the one hand and as a living creature with its own needs on the other.
7. The continuous monitoring of individual data, its analysis and presentation increase the detection sensitivity of irregularities in cows' condition and performance and therefore, strengthen the contact between the herdsman and the cow.
8. The fact that more and more promising research topics being conducted at the universities and research institutes are financed by the private sector may slow down the transfer of know-how.
9. When presenting the performance of a system developed by him, the scientist would always stress that research and development is still needed. However, if the same system is presented by a salesman the audience might get the impression that it is the perfect one.


The dairy control and management system in the robotic milking farm


dr. Ir. J.A. Renkema hoogleraar Agrarische Bedrijfseconomie

dr. J.P.T.M. Noordhuizen hoogleraar Veehouderij


dr. Ir. J.H.M. Metz hoofd hoofdafdeling Gebouwen en Milieutechniek, IMAG-DLO

S. Devir
The dairy control and management system in the robotic milking farm
ter verkrijging van de graad van doctor in de landbouw- en milieuwetenschappen
op gezag van de rector magnificus, dr. C M . Karssen,
in het openbaar te verdedigen op donderdag 14 september 1995 des namiddags om half twee in de Aula van de Landbouwuniversiteit te Wageningen

Devir, S.
The dairy control and management system in the robotic milking farm / S. Devir [ S.I.: s.n.] Thesis Landbouwuniversiteit Wageningen - With ref. With summary in Dutch and Hebrew. ISBN 90-5484-441-3 Subject headings: dairy control; robotic milking farms/ management system; robotic milking farms

The control and management system in the milking robot milking farm Devir S., 1995
The research and development described in this thesis was directed towards the technical and managerial integration of the milking robot into the dairy farm. First a concept and tools for the milking robot dairy farm were developed. A set of parameters was introduced which represents V the individual cow's production and behaviour pattern in addition to herd and automatic milking system capacity characteristics. Then, a series of three field tests was conducted to validate the automatic milking system management concept, and the tools for its implementation. The aim was to assign an individual milking frequency and concentrates supplementation regime to each dairy cow in a loose housing system. Attention was focused on the implementation of an individual production and behaviour-based strategy, using cow traffic, milking frequency and individual concentrates allocation as the control tools. In all field tests, the milking robot was available for milking and concentrates allocation for 24 hours a day. The cows visited voluntarily a selection unit which was installed before the milking robot, where an on-line milking and concentrates allocation decision was made. In the first and second field tests, cows were milked between two to five times daily, based on daily fixed and pre-determined milking frequency and concentrates allocation. In the third field test the daily milking frequency, two to six times daily, and concentrates allocation were based on frequent evaluation of cow behaviour and production performance. The methods and results described can be used as management guidelines for the loose housing milking robot dairy farm.
Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Farm Management, Wageningen Agricultural University, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands and Department of Animal Husbandry/Animal Health and Reproduction, Wageningen Agricultural University, Marijkeweg 40, 6709 PG, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
The work for this thesis was accomplished in: Livestock Engineering Department, DLO Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering IMAG-DLO, P.O.Box 43,6700 AA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

This thesis is a product of the automatic milking system project conducted at the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, IMAG-DLO, Wageningen, The Netherlands. The project was carried out with the cooperation of many other colleagues to whom I would like to express my sincere thanks.
First of all I would like to thank Ir. A.A Jongebreur. The success of this project owes much to his full support throughout my time at IMAG-DLO.
I would also like to thank my supervisors Prof. Dr. Ir. J.A Renkema from the Department of Farm Management, Wageningen Agricultural University, and Prof. Dr. J.P.T.M. Noordhuizen from the Livestock Husbandry Department Wageningen Agricultural University. Their ability to extract precise statements from the ambiguous and vague elements in my papers showed me the way forward to a successful completion of my thesis within a narrow time schedule.
The person who was my "spiritual father", stood at my side all the time and helped me to navigate my Israeli way of working and thinking through the canals of the Dutch culture is dr. Ir. J.H.M. Metz. I owe a great deal of the success of my thesis to his full support, and the way he believed in me and in my ideas, sometimes in contradiction to his own colleagues.
I received excellent assistance from Ir. A Keen, the statistician, who was patient with me and with my frequent "urgent" problems.
Thanks also to all my colleagues in the Livestock Engineering Departmentof IMAG-DLO. Special thanks to the team of the experimental farm "De Vijf Roeden" in Duiven, for their cooperation sometimes at unsocial hours. Sincere thanks also to Franse Ettema who was always there to help me, despite his hidden anxiety about the effects on the cows of my controversy ideas.
I would also like to thank the IMAG-DLO technical team, led by Dolf Smits. co-ordinator of the project who all devoted much more time to the project than was expected. From my former department I would like to thank Mr. J. Cornelissen. From the Information and Statistics Department in IMAG-DLO I would like to thank Rijn Bijkerk and Hans Janssen especially.
To my Israeli colleague and friend Dr. E. Maltz who first led me into the dairy and accompanied me from the time I was a young student until today I would like to offer my sincere gratitude.
RobotDairy ControlWageningenCowsThesis