DeLaval held the Irish launch of its new pasture based voluntary milking system (VMS) in Killarney today.

According to DeLaval, the ABC Grazing Model has been successfully trialled in Australia and New Zealand in recent years, and is ideal for many spring-calving herds on Irish dairy farms. DeLaval has been among the market leaders in Ireland for over 80 years and supply a wide range of milking equipment ranging from herringbone parlours to rotary systems.

Speaking at the launch Joakim Rosengren, DeLaval CEO, said that the company is making a significant investment in Ireland in preparation for the abolition of milk quotas in 2015.

“DeLaval envisage an expansion in milk production taking place in Ireland due to its low cost, animal welfare friendly, pasture based production system.We believe that our award winning milking systems* and experienced personnel can help Ireland to significantly grow a sustainable dairy export business.

“We have doubled our Irish sales force, increased our strategic focus on the market opportunities and have provided specialised training for seven new dealers who service our VMS customers. Today we have over 30 dealers servicing our dairy farming customers 24/7 and over 140 people are employed in Ireland working for the DeLaval network.”

Today’s launch also featured a visit to one of the first DeLaval VMS with ABC grazing systems in Europe on a dairy farm near Ballyduff in North Kerry where Johnny O’Hanlon and his parents Gerard and Ann have a mainly spring calving Holstein herd. Two DeLaval VMS Supras were installed last December and another one in April. They also installed a new 16,000 litre DeLaval DXCEM bulk tank with a heat recovery system. Prior to this, the cows were milked twice a day in a typical 16 unit herringbone parlour.

Speaking on farm Steve Sefton, Sales Director for Ireland said that: “The ABC grazing and the DeLaval Smart Gate System was working very well. Cows were achieving optimum dry matter intakes from the grazing area and 95% of the cows were trained in within 10 days.”

He also noted that the hygiene on this farm is excellent and shows how effective the DeLaval VMS Supra is in keeping the milking equipment clean. The cows are more relaxed, stress free and have more grazing time.

All this will improve cow longevity, herd health and profitability, he said. Mr Sefton reiterated that with the DeLaval VMS system busy farmers were saving time and labour, had greater flexibility, could focus on other management tasks and enjoy a much better family lifestyle.