Molasses blend boosts robot visits

20 Sep 2019

A super-filtered molasses blend has been shown to increase both daily visits to robot milking systems and increase milk production.

“Optimising voluntary visits per day is vital to drive maximum performance from robotic milking systems,” explains ED&F Man’s Phil Holder. “Robo-Mol has been developed to help increase the cows’ desire to enter the robot and increase milking visits.”

Liquid feed

The blend, developed in conjunction with Yeovil’s Lely Centre, is a 55% dry matter molasses-based liquid feed, which has been filtered to achieve optimum flowability through a robot system.

It is a 12.7MJ ME, 6.5% protein feed, containing 64% sugar, and has been formulated to be fed at an initial rate of between 65g and 70g per visit.

Principle role

“Its principal role is to act as an inducement for cows and heifers to enter the robot rather than being a feed per se,” says Dr Holder.

“That said, it has been formulated to replace dairy compounds, if required, with an IBC being sited above the robot to allow a higher feed rate.”

 

In trials run on several robotic milked herds, the blend has received positive user feedback. Visits per cow increased and milk yields rose by around 1.5 litres per day with feed rates of around 200g/day.

Users also reported that making the blend available also made heifer training easier. The product is available in 1,000-litre IBCs, delivered direct to the farm.