Dunne's host Tom Harte open day
Kilworth dairy farmers, Tom and Michael Dunne, in association with Tom Harte Farm Services hosted an open day on their farm last week to promote the 60 Point DeLaval Rotary Milking Parlour.
Heavy showers throughout the day did little to deter the public who were interested to see one of the world's most sophisticated milking systems up close.
When the 'live' demonstration came, the entire operation ran like clockwork, indeed better than clockwork as this is a completely automated system capable of milking 300 cows per hour with no human input. Tom Harte and his Whitechurch-based operation are in no doubt that it's the future of dairy production and while you need scale to justify such a massive capital outlay, there's no disputing that the DeLaval system puts the opposition in the shade.
Always progressive, Tom and Michael have taken milk production to a new level and while much of the labour has been taken out of milking, there's still a very substantial amount of work required to keep a show like this on the road.
While the hardware and software of the DeLaval robot was the main focus of attention, the females (the cows) doing the producing can't be overlooked. In a bid to optimise milk quality, the Dunnes have opted for the Norwegian Red, a smallish looking but attractive animal with an unflappable temperament. We are told, by people who know these things, that the Norwegian Reds are more intelligent than other breeds and this is an important consideration given that cows need to learn how the robotic systems works. It was also noteworthy that the Dunne family, had their parlour and adjoining sheds in absolutely spotless condition for the open day.
The effort and goodwill of the Dunnes was complemented by the superb marketing job done by Tom Harte Farm Services. Both man and beasts were fed on the day with catering personnel going through vast amounts of tea and coffee and - there was no shortage of milk!
Overall, a very informative and enjoyable day that put the spotlight firmly on milk production - more specifically the future of milk production which will centre on automation and efficiency.
Thursday 23rd October 5:50pm